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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-181-1720, Ford Motor Company, Utica, Michigan.

Gamble J; Kellie S; Petersen M; Hodgson M
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 82-181-1720, 1986 Aug; :1-65
Exposure to toluene-diisocyanate (TDI) (584849) at the Utica Trim Facility (SIC-3714, SIC-3523), Utica, Michigan was evaluated following a request by the UAW. TDI was used in the manufacture of polyurethane automotive seat cushions, backs, and head rests. A total of 261 workers from this facility and a comparison group of 207 workers from a tractor factory were surveyed. There had been six spills of TDI, but concentrations of TDI did not exceed the NIOSH ceiling of 20 parts per billion (ppb). Paper tape records for 42 pouring stations over the period from 1976 to 1981 indicated that at two stations the ceiling was exceeded and at eight the concentrations were at or above the 8 hour NIOSH recommended time weighted average of 5ppb. No excessive exposures to TDI were found on the foam line processes with the exception of the pouring station enclosures. Pulmonary function tests did not reveal any apparent acute adverse effects from TDI exposure. There were cases of possible slight acute irritation symptoms present among the employees. Prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms was higher among workers at the Utica facility, particularly among those who had previously experienced symptoms following a TDI spill. The authors conclude that there had been little effect of TDI exposure on lung volume or flow rates, some increase in eye irritation, and some increase in chronic respiratory symptoms. The authors recommend enforcement of the use of respirator equipment at the pouring stations. Better control of dust in the trimming and repair areas will also serve to reduce the irritation to the eye and respiratory system.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-82-181-1720; Region-5; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Automotive-industry; Polyurethane-foams; Isocyanates; Author Keywords: Isocyanates; toluene diisocyanate; TDI; ventilatory function; symptoms; shift study
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
3714; 3523
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division