On April 13, 2011, EPA published chemical action plans for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and related compounds. According to EPA, diisocyanates are well known dermal and inhalation sensitizers in the workplace and have been documented to cause asthma, lung damage, and in severe cases, fatal reactions. Worker exposures are already subject to protective controls in occupational settings, but EPA is concerned about potential health effects that may result from exposures to the consumer or self-employed worker while using products containing uncured (unreacted) MDI, TDI, and their related polyisocyanates (e.g., spray-applied foam sealants, adhesives, and coatings) or incidental exposures to the general population while such products are used in or around buildings including homes or schools.
The Agency is proposing a number of regulatory actions under the Toxic Substances Control Act. These include promulgation of significant new use rules (SNURs) under Section 5(a)(2) for TDI and its related polyisocyanates in consumer products; Section 4 test rules requesting certain exposure monitoring; reporting and data call-ins under Section 8(c) and 8(d); and certain restrictions adopted pursuant to Section 6. The chemical action plan for MDI and related compounds is available here. The plan for TDI and related compounds is available here.