The second edition of the “Guide for Safe Use of Isocyanates: An Industrial Hygiene Approach,” a document intended for use by employers, workers, and occupational health and safety professionals, was recently released by the Institut de recherché Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), a nonprofit scientific research organization in Québec, Canada. According to IRSST, since the guide was first developed in 2000, industry has introduced new applications of isocyanates, greatly increasing the numbers of workers at risk for exposure. The purpose of the guide is to help readers understand the chemical hazards associated with isocyanates and to provide guidance about ways to reduce exposure and reduce the rate of occupational asthma (OA). IRSST notes that isocyanates are the main cause of OA in Québec.
The new edition contains a chapter on case studies, which includes details on specific work situations and processes such as spray coating, manufacture of flexible polyurethane foam, and relocation of a sensitized worker.