American Industrial Hygiene Association journal

Air and biological monitoring of toluene diisocyanate in a flexible foam plant.

PMID 9075314


Comparative air measurements of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) were performed in a 5.6 m3 standard atmosphere and at a TDI flexible foam plant. Air samples were collected in midget impinger flasks containing 9-(N-methyl-amino-methyl)-anthracene (MAMA) in toluene and on 13-mm glass-fiber filters impregnated with MAMA and glycerol analyzed by LC-UV and with filter-tape instruments. In the laboratory study the average amounts of the TDI-MAMA derivatives determined were higher for filters compared to impingers when tested at concentrations between 16 and 150 micrograms/m3 (n = 29). At the TDI foaming plant the amount of TDI-MAMA collected on the filters compared with impingers showed higher TDI values at low concentrations and lower values at higher concentrations. The same was seen for the filter-tape measurements, but for two samples at very low concentrations the response was much lower. The average air concentration was 29.8 micrograms/m3 (12.5-79.9; n = 12). The highest exposure peak measured was approximately 3 mg TDI/m3. 2,4- and 2,6-toluene diamine (TDA) in urine (U-TDA) and in plasma (P-TDA) from four exposed workers and one volunteer were determined after strong acid hydrolysis as their pentafluoro-propionic anhydride derivatives using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The ions monitored were the M-20 ions (M = molecular weight) of the TDA and trideuterium labeled TDA as the internal standard. The P-TDA among the workers varied between 1-38 micrograms/L and between 7-24 micrograms/L for 2,4- and 2,6-TDA, respectively. The individual plasma levels among the workers over the 3-day periods varied between 7-73%. For the volunteer, P-TDA reached a maximum about 24 hours after the last exposure. The half-time of P-TDA for the volunteer was about 10 days. The urine levels (U-TDA) varied greatly with time and exposure. High peaks were found during or shortly after the exposure. No clear correlation between air levels of TDI measured with the filter-tape instruments and levels of TDA in hydrolyzed urine and plasma was seen, but the U-TDAMax followed the exposure in time as measured with the filter-tape instruments.

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