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Mortality of workers exposed to toluene diisocyanate in the polyurethane foam industry.
Schnorr TM; Steenland K; Egeland GM; Boeniger M; Egilman D
Occup Environ Med 1996 Oct; 53(10):703-707
A cohort mortality study was conducted to investigate any link between occupational exposure to toluene-diisocyanate (584849) (TDI) during the manufacturing of polyurethane foam and cancer mortality in that industry in the United States. The study group included 4,611 men and women who had worked in four polyurethane foam facilities for at least 3 months between the late 1950s and 1987. Between 1984 and 1985, the air concentrations were below the current standard of 0.04mg/m3, but before 1980 the concentrations exceeded the standard. The standard mortality ratio (SMR) for rectal cancer among these workers was 2.78 and for nonHodgkin's lymphoma it was 1.54. Neither increase was statistically significant. One case of male breast cancer was noted. Women did not experience an increase in breast cancer. Only nonHodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease showed a possible relation with time since first employment and no cancer death category showed a strong relation with duration of employment. Mortality from nonmalignant respiratory disease was not increased. The authors conclude that the young cohort has had few deaths and only a short follow up period. Therefore, the findings were ruled not conclusive and the suggestion is made that further years of follow up will enable better evaluations to be made of the influence of TDI exposure of mortality.
NIOSH-Author; Polyurethane-foams; Isocyanates; Cancer-rates; Risk-factors; Occupational-exposure; Epidemiology; Mortality-surveys; Breast-cancer; Author Keywords: isocyanates; cancer; mortality
Dr T Schnorr, Center for Disease Control, NIOSH, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, USA
Issue of Publication
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Page last reviewed: March 4, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division