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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-91-0386-2427, Distinctive Designs International, Inc., Russellville, Alabama.
Jennison E; Piacitelli C
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 91-0386-2427, 1994 May; :1-30
In response to a request from the State of Alabama Department of Public Health, an investigation was begun into the death of a 31 year old employee who had become ill following working with diphenylmethanediisocyanate (101688) at Distinctive Designs International (SIC-3999), Russellville, Alabama. The company produced artificial plant and tree arrangements. Detectable concentrations of monomeric MDI were found in two of the five full shift area air samples collected in impingers. Vapors/aerosols were observed rising into the faces of workers working with the foam. The medical portion of the survey consisted of a questionnaire, occupational and exposure histories, medical findings, spirometry and serial peak flow measurements. Of the 93 current employees, 80 participated in some aspect of the survey. Those who reported high exposure to the polyurethane foaming process were more likely to report work related nasal and eye irritation than individuals in other exposure categories. Self reported exposure to the foaming process was not associated with any other symptoms, nor was it related to pulmonary function. Of 111 former employees, 35 were surveyed. Four of these had left the work due to a lung or respiratory problem which they felt to be potentially work related. Sixteen prior employees had spirometry testing and all had normal results. The authors conclude that a potential health hazard existed at the time of the survey. The authors recommend that workers be informed of the potential hazards of MDI exposure, and that a medical surveillance program, improved ventilation, and adequate personal protective equipment be provided.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-91-0386-2427; Region-4; Hazard-Confirmed; Respiratory-system-disorders; Lung-function; Pulmonary-function-tests; Lung-irritants; Isocyanates; Occupational-exposure; Author Keywords: Artificial flower arrangements-manufacturing; polyurethane foam; diphenylmethane diisocyanate; MDI; hypersensitivity pneumonitis
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
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