Last week, OSHA announced a new national emphasis program (NEP) for occupational exposure to isocyanates that will focus on workplaces in the general, construction, and maritime industries in which isocyanate compounds are used. Over a three-year period, OSHA will focus outreach efforts and inspections on isocyanate hazards in an effort to reduce occupational illnesses, injuries, and deaths, and to raise awareness of the health effects associated with exposure to isocyanates, which can cause occupational asthma; irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat; and cancer. Workers in jobs such as painting, blowing foam insulation, and the manufacture and thermal degradation of polyurethane products may be exposed to these hazardous chemicals.
View OSHA's directive for the new NEP.
For more information, visit OSHA's safety and health topics Web page on isocyanates, which includes OSHA standards, hazard recognition references, chemical sampling information, and more.