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Determinants of isocyanate exposures in auto body repair and refinishing shops.

Woskie SR; Sparer J; Gore RJ; Stowe M; Bello D; Liu Y; Youngs F; Redlich C; Eisen E; Cullen M
Ann Occup Hyg 2004 Jul; 48(5):393-403
As part of the Survey of Painters and Repairers of Auto bodies by Yale (SPRAY), the determinants of isocyanate exposure in auto body repair shops were evaluated. Measurements (n = 380) of hexamethylene diisocyanate-based monomer and polyisocyanate and isophorone diisocyanate-based polyisocyanate were collected from 33 auto body shops. The median total reactive isocyanate concentrations expressed as mass concentration of the NCO functional group were: 206 microg NCO/m3 for spray operations; 0.93 microg NCO/m3 for samples collected in the vicinity of spray operations done on the shop floor (near spray); 0.05 microg NCO/m3 for office or other shop areas adjacent to spray areas (workplace background); 0.17 microg NCO/m3 for paint mixing and gun cleaning operations (mixing); 0.27 microg NCO/m3 for sanding operations. Exposure determinants for the sample NCO mass load were identified using linear regression, tobit regression and logistic regression models. For spray samples in a spray booth the significant determinants were the number of milliliters of NCO applied, the gallons of clear coat used by the shop each month and the type of spray booth used (custom built crossdraft, prefabricated crossdraft or downdraft/semi-downdraft). For near spray (bystander) samples, outdoor temperature >65 degrees F (18 degrees C) and shop size >5000 feet2 (465 m2) were significant determinants of exposure levels. For workplace background samples the shop annual income was the most important determinant. For sanding samples, the shop annual income and outdoor temperature >65 degrees F (18 degrees C) were the most significant determinants. Identification of these key exposure determinants will be useful in targeting exposure evaluation and control efforts to reduce isocyanate exposures.
Isocyanates; Bronchial-asthma; Models; Occupational-diseases; Diseases; Mathematical-models; Simulation-methods; Occupational-exposure; Workers; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Vapors; Paint-spraying; Painting; Automobile-repair-shops; Author Keywords: auto body; exposure determinants; isocyanate; statistical modeling
S. R. Woskie, Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, One University Avenue, 01854
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-003457; Grant-Number-T42-CCT-122961
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Source Name
Annals of Occupational Hygiene
Performing Organization
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division