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OSHA initiates NEP on isocyanates

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Washington – OSHA’s latest National Emphasis Program focuses on isocyanates, a family of chemicals used in a wide range of materials, including paints, varnishes and building insulation.

The NEP, which went into effect June 20, includes enforcement and outreach efforts to raise awareness of the chemical’s exposure hazards, which include occupational asthma, skin irritation and chest tightness.

OSHA said inspections will focus on a variety of general industry, construction and maritime industry sectors in which isocyanate exposures are known or likely to occur.

In late April, Canadian scientific research organization IRSST released the second edition of its guide on the safe use of isocyanates.