In October 2016, the REACH restriction proposal for diisocyanates initiated by the BAuA was submitted to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). This group of chemicals is produced in large quantities in the European Union (EU) and is used primarily for the production of polyurethanes, e.g. for paints and foams. The restriction aims at significantly reducing the number of asthma cases that occur annually in the EU due to occupational exposure to diisocyanates. To reach this, binding standards for protective measures and training for the safe handling of diisocyanates shall be introduced.
In order to investigate the effects of the restriction after its implementation, BAUA promotes the establishment of a longitudinal study. In this project, the Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine (IPA), Bochum, with the support of the BAuA and other cooperation partners, investigates the feasibility of a cohort study and further study modules in workers exposed to diisocyanates, and prepares the main study if possible. The main objective of the feasibility study is to recruit companies with a sufficient number of exposed workers (~ 1500 at the beginning of the main study) to be able to detect the occurrence of diisocyanate-associated cases of asthma.
Unit 4.3 "Toxicology"