A cross-sectional study of spray-painters was conducted to quantify adverse respiratory effects of exposure to polyurethane enamels using HDI-based isocyanates. The population consisted of 287 spray-painters at 4 facilities. Each subject was administered a spirometric test and a medical, smoking, and occupational questionnaire (including spray-painting history and respirator usage). Total and respirable personal samples (n= 152) were collected during spray-painting. For each subject, cumulative exposures were computed for total and respirable paint aerosol (TPA & RPA) and isocyanate in total and respirable aerosol (TIA & RIA) as arithmetic mean facility exposure, times years painting. Multiple linear regression was used to relate percent predicted (PP) FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC, and FEF25-75 to cumulative exposure, after adjusting for age, cigarette smoking, asthma and respiratory protection. Cumulative exposures in (mg/m3)-years ranged up to 578.0 TPA, 57.6 RPA, 69.4 TIA and 6.9 RIA. For all exposure indices, after adjusting for smoking, asthma and respiratory protection, higher exposure was significantly associated with reduced PPFEV1, PPFEV1/FVC, and PPFEF25-75. Significant Smoking-related reductions were observed for PPFEV1, PPFEV1/FVC, and PPFEF25-75. Respirator usage was associated with significantly higher PPFEV1 and PPFVc. No significant smoking and exposure interactions were noted. Adjusting for asthma resulted in a significant reduction in PPFVC only, with no effect on the significance of exposure. Exposure levels were within total and respirable "nuisance dust" standards, but were significantly associated with adverse effects. Respiratory protection was beneficial, but more stringent exposure controls are required for spray-painting with polyurethane enamels.
Isocyanates; Lung-function; Respiratory-system-disorders; Polyurethane-foams; Questionnaires; Smoking; Occupational-exposure; Respirators; Aerosol-particles; Aerosols; Respiratory-protection; Bronchial-asthma; Respirable-dust; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Spray-painting; Paint-spraying; Painters; Surveillance
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2003 International Conference, The American Thoracic Society, Seattle, WA, May 16-21, 2003