Cutaneous sensitization to some polyisocyanate prepolymers in guinea pigs

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Isocyanates are used extensively in the polyurethane industry. Pulmonary and dermal sensitization resulting from exposure to diisocyanates has frequently been reported, but the potential effects of polyisocyanates on health are less well known. Thus, since 1978, occupational exposure limits have been established for diisocyanates only. Nevertheless, respiratory diseases and dermatitis have been reported in the polyurethane industry after accidental isocyanate contact during spills or splashes. The aim of this experimental work was to assess the dermal hypersensitivity of guinea pigs to some polyisocyanate prepolymers by means of a well-conducted standard predictive Buehler test. Our results showed that dicyclohexylmethane 4,4′-diisocyanate (HMDI), toluylene 2,4-diisocyanate (TDI), TDI adduct triol, TDI isocyanurate, 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI), HDI isocyanurate, HDI biuret and isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI) induced dermal sensitization while IPDI isocyanurate did not. In conclusion, the dermal hypersensitivity of guinea pigs to some polyisocyanates was similar to those of their corresponding monomers except for IPDI isocyanurate, suggesting that the results from diisocyanate monomers could not be a valuable approach for the detection of the sensitization potency of the corresponding prepolymers.

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