WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 30, 2005) — The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has issued a draft safety alert for employers and employees in the spray-on truck bed liner and related industries.
The alert seeks information about preventing adverse health effects from exposure to methylenebis (phenyl isocyanate) (MDI). NIOSH, a segment of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said its investigations have found that exposure to MDI may lead to asthma, acute respiratory failure and even death for exposed workers. The agency estimates that more than 10,000 workers are potentially exposed to MDI during spray-on bed lining operations.
Spray-on products containing isocyanates have been developed for a wide range of retail, commercial and industrial uses, NIOSH said. They are increasingly found in the pickup truck aftermarket industry. But the rapid growth of the products has led to a highly unregulated and irregular environment for workers, the agency said. There is no nationwide system for spray-on facility inspections or government oversight, NIOSH added. The agency's report calls on state health officials to monitor cases of asthma that are caused by or exacerbated by workplace conditions.
Public comments about the issue will be accepted until March 31. For more information, go to www.cdc.gov/niosh/homepage.html.