Monitoring Isocyanates

MONITORING ISOCYANATES

Isocyanates are a group of chemicals which have been used for industrial purposes for more than 50 years, mainly for manufacturing of polyurethane plastics (PUR). Over the years, the use of PUR has widened considerably. PUR is nowadays found in for example foam, thermoplastics, fibers, adhesives, coatings and lacquers, foils and insulation materials.

When heating PUR to a temperature above 150 °C there is a risk of emission and exposure of isocyanates. Common scenarios include heating on surfaces treated with paints, varnishes or glue containing PUR. Other possible exposure scenarios are, for example, cutting and welding of PUR insulated steel pipes for district heating networks and hot work at car and sheet metal workshops. However, industrial production of polyurethane foam and paintwork can also entail significant health risks.

Even if there are no isocyanates in the product, isocyanates may still in some cases be formed during heating, such as when burning mineral wool or particle boards containing formaldehyde, phenol and urea. Both methylisocyanate (MIC) and isocyanate acid (ICA) can be formed under these circumstances.

Isocyanates are extremely toxic. The most critical effect of isocyanate exposure is the risk of developing isocyanate asthma. In many cases, there is also a development of hypersensitivity to air pollution and odors. Other serious effects are decreased lung function and skin allergies. Common symptoms include headache and respiratory problems such as nasal congestion, sniffing, nose bleeding or coughing. In many countries, isocyanates are subject to very low occupational exposure limits due to their hazardous properties.

We are one of the world's leading environmental, health and safety research and service organizations with a primary focus on techniques for sampling, monitoring and analyzing isocyanates and related amines. Occupational and industrial hygienists from all over the world have placed their trust in us for decades. We serve clients from a variety of sectors on a worldwide basis, such as occupational health services, the engineering industry, the polyurethane industry, the pharmaceutical industry and various research institutions.

Our well renowned expertise enable us to be both your trusted consulting advisor as well as your total supplier in small studies as well as in large scale analytical research and development projects. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you with your occupational and industrial hygiene requirements.

Download our fact sheet for further information on activities and industries where isocyanates occur: [PDF]

INFORMATION

Please contact us for further information on all our services and sampling procedures. We may provide an additional range of services that are not listed on the website. If you would like to know more, or are interested in our additional services, we very much want to hear from you.

Quotations are always available on request.

Samples can be sent to our postal address or delivery address.

+46 451 655 61
Mikael Adamsson

OFFICE HOURS

Monday - Friday:
08.00 - 16.00
CET/CEST

Saturday - Sunday:
Closed

Current Swedish time:

EMERGENCIES

For urgent matters outside of office hours, please call:

+46 704 585 562

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INFORMATION

Please contact us for further information on all our services and sampling procedures. We may provide an additional range of services that are not listed on the website. If you would like to know more, or are interested in our additional services, we very much want to hear from you.

Quotations are always available on request.

Samples can be sent to our postal address or delivery address.

+46 451 655 61
Mikael Adamsson

Monitoring Isocyanates

MONITORING ISOCYANATES

Isocyanates are a group of chemicals which have been used for industrial purposes for more than 50 years, mainly for manufacturing of polyurethane plastics (PUR). Over the years, the use of PUR has widened considerably. PUR is nowadays found in for example foam, thermoplastics, fibers, adhesives, coatings and lacquers, foils and insulation materials.

When heating PUR to a temperature above 150 °C there is a risk of emission and exposure of isocyanates. Common scenarios include heating on surfaces treated with paints, varnishes or glue containing PUR. Other possible exposure scenarios are, for example, cutting and welding of PUR insulated steel pipes for district heating networks and hot work at car and sheet metal workshops. However, industrial production of polyurethane foam and paintwork can also entail significant health risks.

Even if there are no isocyanates in the product, isocyanates may still in some cases be formed during heating, such as when burning mineral wool or particle boards containing formaldehyde, phenol and urea. Both methylisocyanate (MIC) and isocyanate acid (ICA) can be formed under these circumstances.

Isocyanates are extremely toxic. The most critical effect of isocyanate exposure is the risk of developing isocyanate asthma. In many cases, there is also a development of hypersensitivity to air pollution and odors. Other serious effects are decreased lung function and skin allergies. Common symptoms include headache and respiratory problems such as nasal congestion, sniffing, nose bleeding or coughing. In many countries, isocyanates are subject to very low occupational exposure limits due to their hazardous properties.

We are one of the world's leading environmental, health and safety research and service organizations with a primary focus on techniques for sampling, monitoring and analyzing isocyanates and related amines. Occupational and industrial hygienists from all over the world have placed their trust in us for decades. We serve clients from a variety of sectors on a worldwide basis, such as occupational health services, the engineering industry, the polyurethane industry, the pharmaceutical industry and various research institutions.

Our well renowned expertise enable us to be both your trusted consulting advisor as well as your total supplier in small studies as well as in large scale analytical research and development projects. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you with your occupational and industrial hygiene requirements.

Download our fact sheet for further information on activities and industries where isocyanates occur: [PDF]

OFFICE HOURS

Monday - Friday:
08.00 - 16.00
CET/CEST

Saturday - Sunday:
Closed

Current Swedish time:

EMERGENCIES

For urgent matters outside of office hours, please call:

+46 704 585 562