Workplace exposures

EPA extends comment deadline for toluene diisocyanate

Washington – The Environmental Protection Agency has extended to April 30 the deadline for public comment on its proposed rule on using the chemical compound toluene diisocyanate.

The agency is considering limiting or prohibiting products that contain TDIs. On Jan. 8, it proposed a Significant New Use Rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act for seven TDIs and related compounds.

The rule would require manufacturers, importers and processors to inform EPA at least 90 days before starting or resuming use of TDIs and related compounds at levels of more than 0.1 percent in consumer products.

Workers exposed to TDIs have experienced skin and lung sensitization, asthma, lung damage, and death, according to EPA. Exposure risk through inhalation and the skin increases when polyurethane products are used in uncured form, particularly in spray sealants and coatings, EPA states.