EPA takes action against diisocyanates – MDI TDI

EPA takes action against diisocyanates – MDI and TDI

12:47 PM, 17th June 2011
EPA takes action against diisocyanates – MDI and TDI

EPA will look to regulate the use of diisocyanates – MDI and TDI as a concern for  consumer exposure.

WASHINGTON DC, US: Diisocyantes, which are ingredients in polyurethane plastics, face Environmental Protection Agency regulation due to concerns about health effects, the agency announced on April 13.

The main focus of EPA’s efforts is do-it-yourself consumer products such as spray foam insulation, concrete sealers, adhesives, and floor finishes. These polyurethane products may contain uncured diisocyanates, according to the agency. This contrasts with cured products, such as polyurethane foam in mattresses, which are not of concern, EPA said.

These chemicals are the leading cause of work-related asthma. Consumer exposure to the substances, however, is unregulated.

“There has been an increase in recent years in promoting the use of foams and sealants by do-it-yourself energy-conscious homeowners. Many people may now be unknowingly exposed to risks from these chemicals,” says Steven Owens, Assistant Administrator, Chemical Safety, EPA.

The agency is taking a two-fold approach to diisocyanates. One is to target toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and related compounds. The other aims at methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and similar chemicals: MDI monomers and related isomers and polymers; and MDI dimers, trimers, and polymers.

EPA intends to issue a rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act to require companies to notify the agency before using uncured TDI and related polyisocyanates in consumer goods. The agency plans to ask manufacturers of both TDI and MID to report any allegations of significant adverse effects from exposure to these chemicals. Also, EPA will consider regulations to require makers of these compounds to conduct exposure monitoring studies for commercial products with uncured TDI and MDI. Plus, EPA will consider regulating consumer products containing uncured MDI.

(C) 2011 American Chemical Society






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