Isocyanates are a family of highly reactive, low molecular weight chemicals.
They 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 building insulation materials.
The health effects of isocyanate exposure include irritation of skin and mucous membranes, chest tightness, and difficult breathing. Isocyanates are 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).
ACTIONS 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.
HOW 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.
INTERESTED IN MOULD EXPOSURE TESTING?
If you need any further assistance with mould in the workplace or would like to know more please get in touch and we will get back to you as soon as we can.