Safety Health

There are serious concerns in safe handling of isocyanates. Please consult the MSDS of the manufacturer of a specific product to assess safe handling procedures. The links below provide additional information and access to regulations in different states and also countries. Isocyanates like most toxic chemicals can be handles safely. Most problems with isocyanates are related to inhalation of isocyanate in gas or in aerosol form. Because of the high reactivity with water the oral toxicity of isocyanates is usually very low and no indication of the actual toxicity in normal use.

Isocyanates should only be handled by people who have received the proper training.

Problems with toxicity of isocyanates do not translate into toxicity of the products which are made from isocyanates. Polyurethanes and polyureas made from isocyanates are polymers and therefore low concern materials.


Australia Isocyanates Health and Safety Standards  
BgVV (German consumer regulations)
Canutec Emergency response to isocyanates Canada
Department of Health Safety CA
DOT Hazmat
European Regulations for Food Contact  Analytical Methods
German "Luftgrenzwerte" Air Concentration of Toxic
International Chemical Safety Cards (MSDS international)
International Labor Organizations  Risk and Safety Phrases EU
NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Harzard
NIOSH Safety Health Isocyanates
Occupational Health   HAZ-MAP
OSHA/NIOSH  Air sampling of compounds
OSHA survey of automotive repair shops (isocyanates)
OSHA isocyanate safety
Polyurethane Industry Alliance
Scorecard Environmental Defense Fund
Sweden KEMI National Chemicals Inspectorate  
US Navy Flight Surgeon Handbook Toxicology

Last edited on:

November 20, 2006

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