Occupational Asthma Reference

Bello D, Woskie SR, Streicher RP, Liu Y, Stowe MH, Eisen EA, Ellenbecker MJ, Sparer J, Youngs F, Cullen MR, Redlich CA, Polyisocyanates in occupational environments: a critical review of exposure limits and metrics, Am J Industr Med, 2004;46:480-491,

Keywords: isocyanate pre-polymer, isocyanate oligomer, review

Known Authors

Carrie Redlich, Yale University, Newhaven Connecticut Carrie Redlich

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BACKGROUND: Determination of polyisocyanates is important because they are a major contributor of exposure to the isocyanate functional group in many workplace environments and are capable of inducing sensitization and asthma. However, with multiple different measurement metrics in use, comparison of isocyanate exposure data between studies and development of occupational exposure limits (OELs) for polyisocyanates is difficult.

METHODS: An analysis of existing problems in the measurement and regulation of isocyanates is presented based on the published analytical, toxicological, and regulatory literature, and the authors' own analytical data and experience with isocyanates.

RESULTS: This analysis supports a need for standardization of isocyanate measurement metrics and provides a framework for the development of an OEL for polyisocyanates.

CONCLUSIONS: The total isocyanate group (microg NCO/m(3)) is recommended as the most feasible and practical metric (unit) by which to express polyisocyanate exposures for research, control, and regulatory purposes. The establishment of a comprehensive isocyanate OEL that simplifies the current agent-by-agent approach and expands coverage to polyisocyanates is also recommended

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