exposure testing

Isocyanates are a family of highly reactive, low molecular weight chemicals


Isocyanytes are widely used in the manufacture of flexible and rigid foams, fibers, coatings such as paints and varnishes, and elastomers, and are increasingly used in the automobile industry, autobody repair and for construction insulation materials.

The health effects of isocyanate exposure can include irritation of skin and mucous membranes, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. Isocyanates are actually one of the leading causes of occupational asthma in the UK and are also known for there potential to cause cancer.

As respiratory sensitisers, exposures to isocyanates should be kept as low as reasonably practicable and this often requires the use of respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

ActionsActions and advice

The starting point of a workplace exposure assessment in relation to Isocyanates is to review the product data sheet to identify the specific Isocyanate that is in use. 

Once this has been identified an assessment of exposure levels should be conducted by implementing an exposure testing regime. These exposure levels should then be compared with the workplace exposure levels (WEL's) as defined by the Health & Safety Executive. Any actions should then be taken to either reduce or control exposure as part of an ongoing monitoring regime.

HelpHow can we help?

Our consultants are here to help you and can develop and implement monitoring strategies to ensure maximum exposure limits are not exceeded with respect to Isocyanates. Our team we will advise on appropriate measures to be taken to reduce the risk of exposure and ensure you comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations.

For further help call us on 0870 7019170 or email:


Knowledge Centre Article

Expand your knowledge on this topic by reading our informative article

Isocyanates Unveiled: Unraveling Risks and Effective Exposure Control Strategies
Isocyanates Unveiled: Unraveling Risks and Effective Exposure Control Strategies


In the evolving industrial landscape, isocyanates, notably di-isocyanates, play a vital role in polyurethane production, with applications ranging from paints to adhesives. Despite their versatility, it's essential to acknowledge the inherent risks of isocyanates, known for their potential as potent respiratory sensitisers. Workers exposed to these chemicals face risks of breathing disorders, including the notable concern of occupational asthma.

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