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Environmental toxicity of isocyanates.
NIOSH 1990 Dec; :1-9
Isocyanates are a group of highly reactive chemicals whose role in industrial synthesis continues to increase. Isocyanates are used for production of polyurethanes, rigid and flexible foams, and pesticides. Exposure to isocyanate vapors is a particular hazard for workers in occupations such as paint and coatings application, which require the use of the reactive form of the compound. Typical responses to isocyanates range from sensory irritation to chronic pulmonary disease. The identification of the specific in vivo targets of inhaled isocyanates will enable development of appropriate radioimmunoassays for use in the analysis of blood or urine samples from workers to determine the extent of their exposure to isocyanates. The application of the exposure protocol used in these studies may provide new information to define different threshold events in the exposure to isocyanates. These include a true definition of the threshold for tissue damages, for sensitization, and for appearance of circulating modified macromolecules. Results of these studies will identify in vivo reactions of airborne isocyanates and provide methods for quantitative evaluation of isocyanate exposures. Conclusions drawn from these studies may be used to evaluate mechanisms involving exposure to reactive gases.
Isocyanates; Chemical-reactions; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Workers; Painting; Paints; Pulmonary-system-disorders; In-vivo-studies; Blood-samples; Urinalysis
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Final Grant Report
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division