Case studies of jewelry and shipping department workers exposed to methylene-bisphenyl-diisocyanate (101688) (MDI) were reported. NIOSH conducted an environmental and medical survey of a jewelry facility in which MDI had been sprayed into the walls during a 3 day period. No MDI levels greater than NIOSH's recommended exposure limit and OSHA's permissible exposure limit were seen 5 days after cessation of the MDI spraying. Thirteen of 75 employees completing a symptom questionnaire were identified as having probable MDI induced respiratory disease. It was found that MDI exposure probably occurred during MDI application. A NIOSH evaluation of a shipping department using a polyurethane foam containing MDI and MDI prepolymer revealed no detectable levels of MDI in time weighted average exposure monitoring; however, short term exposure monitoring measured MDI levels above the OSHA and NIOSH limits. It was concluded that a health hazard existed. Recommendations for the elimination of the use of the polyurethane foam or the use of engineering controls and personal protective equipment were provided.
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