Presentation Recordings

Below you can view the plenary presentations and download the PDF of the slide set. Please note these presentations are being provided by the presenters for educational purposes and copyright is held with the authors. Please credit the author(s), using below format, for use of data arising from their presentation.

[Authors, Title] (2013, April) Paper presented at Isocyanates and Health: Past, Present and Future, Bolger Conference Center, Potomac, MD

Polyurethane Chemistry and Products: Past, Present and Future
Speaker:
Sharon Feng PhD

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Worker Exposure Issues: A Challenge to Researchers
Speaker: Andrew Comai MS - UAW International

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Description: Polyurethanes are widely used in manufacturing and historically are a leading cause of skin and respiratory disease in the workplace. Worker awareness on the signs and symptoms of exposure is inadequate. Incidents of disease often times are difficult to link to specific exposure scenarios. Current and historical exposure scenarios will be described across a range of products and processes including building products, sports equipment, aerospace equipment, auto parts, automobile and heavy trucks assembly. Drawing on experiences from the production floor, skilled trades' practices, maintenance procedures and emergency spill response the presentation will frame research questions important to workers. Given current advances in research concerning disease mechanisms, exposure monitoring and health surveillance how can we translate this knowledge to improve worker safety?

 

Consumer Exposures to Isocyanates: What do we know? How can occupational exposures inform us? And what do we need to learn?
Speaker:
Andrea Pfhales-Hutchens MS US EPA

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Description:
Until recently, research on exposures to diisocyanates has focused on occupational exposures. However, there is growing evidence that exposures to diisocyanates may also be occurring to other populations, including homeowners, school occupants, residents living near plants where isocyanates are being manufactured, DIYers, workers not covered by OSHA regulations, and many others. Many of the incidences of non-occupational exposures reported in the literature thus far have been anecdotal; however, they indicate the importance of collecting exposure data and focusing research on potential consumer exposures, especially since they pose many questions that cannot be answered by data collected in occupational settings. This is especially important for isocyanates which require certain conditions and application to cure properly. This talk will focus on the challenges of collecting consumer data on isocyanate-containing products and provide examples of research needs that have been identified by a US Federal Partners Workgroup on spray polyurethane foam.

Pathways to Pathogenesis: Toxicology & Animal Models
Speaker:
Adam Wisnewski PhD – Yale University School of Medicine

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Description: The entry and exit of isocyanate will be discussed, with specific attention to the types of exposure (phase, formulation) at specific sites (airway, skin), and the kinetics of elimination. Next, the biochemical reactions that isocyanates undergo, inside the body, will be addressed, focusing on the formation of allergens, via protein conjugation, and reversible isocyanate-glutathione interactions. The use of animals in modeling exposure, immune sensitization, and asthma will be highlighted through specific examples from the literature, with emphasis on important lessons learned to date.

Isocyanate Biomarkers
Speaker: Leena Nylander-French PhD, CIH – Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Description: Quantitation of the individual exposure dose and determination of a mechanism of action hinges upon identification of appropriate biomarkers of exposure, effect, and susceptibility that can discriminate between acute and chronic exposure. Validation of isocyanate biomarkers requires accurate characterization as well as sensitive and specific analytical procedures to measure them in biological media. This presentation focuses on the tools to investigate the interaction between inhalation and skin exposure to isocyanates and these biomarkers.

Concept Applications & Facilitated Discussion
Speaker: Andrew Maier PhD, DABT - Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment, NIOSH

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Description: Ongoing science developments in the areas of toxicology models and biomarkers are a key underpinning of the effort to improve the hazard characterization and risk assessment process for isocyanates. The linkage between current toxicology and biomarker research and the goal of a deeper understanding of key metrics of exposure and effect potency will be highlighted in a facilitated discussion.

A Hypothesis-Based Weight-of-Evidence Approach to Evaluate the Human Carcinogenicity of Isocyanates
Speaker: Julie Goodman PhD, DABT - Gradient

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Description: There are few data available regarding the human carcinogenicity of most isocyanates, with the exception of methylene bisphenyl isocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI). The International Agency for Research on Cancer has not classified MDI as to its human carcinogenicity. It classified TDI as possibly carcinogenic to humans based on evidence of the tumors observed in experimental animal studies, but no strong or consistent patterns have been observed in epidemiology studies, and recent evidence indicates that tumors in experimental animals are not relevant to humans. This session will discuss the current state of the science regarding isocyanates and cancer. We will discuss the types of data available for evaluating potential human carcinogenicity, including inhalation bioassay, epidemiology, genotoxicity, and toxicokinetic studies. We will also discuss how an hypothesis-based weight-of-evidence (HBWoE) evaluation can allow one to assess the most likely way to account for all of the data relevant to a particular question of causation by evaluating and integrating these data and determining ad hoc assumptions required to support alternative hypotheses. This evaluation includes an assessment of study methods, strengths, and weaknesses, and data gaps, including those that could be addressed with occupational studies. A case study of TDI will be presented.

Current Issues in Measurement of Airborne Isocyanates
Speaker: Gunnar Skarping PhD – Stockholm University

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Description: This session will discuss issues related to measurement of isocyanates in air as well as assessment of dermal exposure. There are a number of methods in existence for sampling and analysis of isocyanates. Factors that determine selection of appropriate methods will be discussed. Concerns about exposure to isocyanates are not limited to use of isocyanate products. Formation of new isocyanate species through thermal decomposition of polyurethanes or other materials or via polymerization chemistry may present an unexpected hazard. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is becoming more common in isocyanate analysis and is particularly important in the measurement of complex mixtures and difficult matrices such as skin and surfaces. Occupational exposure limits (OELs) vary internationally from species-specific limits to total reactive isocyanate group (TRIG) limits. The compatibility of types of methods with different OELs and with exposure metrics that reflect disease biology will be discussed. Important areas for future research will be identified.

Current Issues in Measurement of Dermal Exposure to Isocyanates
Speaker: Dhimiter Bello ScD, MSc – University of Massachusetts Lowell

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Description: This session will discuss issues related to measurement of isocyanates in air as well as assessment of dermal exposure. There are a number of methods in existence for sampling and analysis of isocyanates. Factors that determine selection of appropriate methods will be discussed. Concerns about exposure to isocyanates are not limited to use of isocyanate products. Formation of new isocyanate species through thermal decomposition of polyurethanes or other materials or via polymerization chemistry may present an unexpected hazard. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is becoming more common in isocyanate analysis and is particularly important in the measurement of complex mixtures and difficult matrices such as skin and surfaces. Occupational exposure limits (OELs) vary internationally from species-specific limits to total reactive isocyanate group (TRIG) limits. The compatibility of types of methods with different OELs and with exposure metrics that reflect disease biology will be discussed. Important areas for future research will be identified.

Human health effects of isocyanates: clinical spectrum, pathogenesis, epidemiology and outcomes
Speaker
: Carrie Redlich MD, MPH – Yale University

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Description: This session will describe the clinical spectrum, pathogenesis, epidemiology and outcomes of isocyanate asthma, the primary clinical problem due to isocyanate exposure. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis, rhinitis, dermatitis, and other non-cancer human health effects will also be addressed briefly. Clinical studies evaluating pathogenesis, immune responses, management, and clinical and socioeconomic outcomes will be critically reviewed. Epidemiological studies on workers exposed to the major isocyanates (TDI, MDI, HDI) in primary and secondary production and different end-user settings will also be addressed, including disease prevalence, exposure-disease relationships, and exposure and host risk factors for disease.

The plenary session will be complemented by in-depth presentations related to genetic risk factors, biomarkers, and current high-risk work settings during the breakout sessions.

Health and hazard surveillance for isocyanate exposed workers
Speaker:
Phil Harber MD, MPH – University of Arizona, UCLA

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Description:The session will describe systematic approaches for health surveillance of isocyanate exposed groups, considering both hazard surveillance and health surveillance (medical monitoring). The session will consider each of the steps-( 1) identifying/accessing at risk worker groups,; (2) methods for early detection of possible isocyanate related disease ; (3) clinical methods to confirm possible cases; (4) workplace management of cases of probable isocyanate asthma; (5) use of case data to foster prevention.; (6) systematic integration of exposure, control measures, and health data. Health surveillance approaches include targeted active worker testing programs as well as passive analyses of existing data. The session will critically evaluate effectiveness of the diverse approaches to case identification and prevention, which may differ for frequent and episodic users.

 

 

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