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OSHA, ACC Team Up on Isocyanate Safety

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration teamed up with the American Chemistry Council for a two-year alliance to promote both awareness of worker exposure to diisocyantes and good practices within the polyurethane industry.

Isocyanates are the building blocks of most polyurethane products, such as coatings, adhesives and insulation for both buildings and pipelines, as well as consumer products like car seats and foam mattresses. Exposure to the chemicals can lead to irritation of the mucous membranes and skin, along with chest tightness and difficulty breathing. More serious side effects also include asthma and other lung problems.

Alliance Formation

“OSHA’s new alliance with ACC will help ensure that employers and employees who work with the identified chemicals better understand the health hazards associated with these potentially hazardous chemicals, and the methods to control employee exposures,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt in a statement.

© iStock.com / SatiJoy

Isocyanates are the building blocks of most polyurethane products, such as coatings, adhesives and insulation for both buildings and pipelines.

The OSHA-ACC alliance will implement a web-based training program on the safe use of chemicals and potential causes of exposure, along with guides on medical surveillance and clinical evaluation methods for those using the chemicals. There will also be best practices seminars on health and safety procedures for OSHA, On-Site Consultation and State Plan staff.

OSHA continues to work with a variety of organizations through its Alliance Program, which assists with the development of compliance assistance and educational resources.

The ACC includes the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry, as well as panels on diisocyanates and aliphatic diisocyanates. The organization also represents chemical manufacturers in many other areas of specialization.

   

Tagged categories: American Chemistry Council; Health and safety; Isocyanate; OSHA; Polyurethane

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