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Effectiveness of decontamination products and nitrile gloves in reducing isocyanate skin exposure in auto body shops: a pilot assessment.

Liu Y; Stowe M; Cullen M; Walsh F; Sparer J; Holm C; Redlich C; Woskie S; Boeniger M
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2002 Jun; :45
Surface and skin decontamination and use of nitrile gloves may be important interventional measures in reducing isocyanate skin exposures in auto body shops, but their effectiveness needs to be evaluated before recommendation for larger scale interventions is made. This pilot study was designed to assess such effectiveness. Three auto body shops with 40 workers were selected to participate in the testing with 5 painters actually evaluated the products. A plant oil based skin cleanser and a cleanser-containing towel were used to clean isocyanates on hands after a paint mixing, clear coating or wet sanding task was per- formed. The hands were qualitatively assessed for isocyanate contamination before and after the cleaning using a color change indicator. An isocyanate surface decontamination product was used to clean mixing benches, painting equipment and gun cleaning tools. The effectiveness of cleanness was assessed with a similar color indicator. Two brands of nitrile gloves were evaluated during painting sessions for their isocyanate breakthroughs using a com- mercial glove breakthrough indicator. Painters were also asked to subjectively evaluate the effectiveness and acceptance of these cleaning products. Results showed that skin areas found positive in contamination detection became negative after cleaning with both the skin cleanser and the paper towel. Surfaces highly contaminated were found well-cleaned with no positive color changes detected. All workers regarded both skin cleanser and surface decontamination solution as good in cleaning effect and acceptable as a safety product. No isocyanate breakthrough was found with nitrile gloves from several painting sessions. These results suggest nitrile gloves protect skin well from isocyanate contamination. The surface decontamination solution and the skin cleansing products are effective in removing surface and skin contamination. They may be recommended for daily use in auto body shops and as measures to reduce isocyanate skin exposure in larger-scale intervention studies.
Decontamination; Isocyanates; Skin-exposure; Workers; Workplace-monitoring
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division