Question - Isocyanates are known to be powerful irritants to the mucous membranes of the eyes and gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. What clinical manifestations may result in workers exposed to isocyanates?
Answer - The cited resource notes “Direct skin contact can also cause marked inflammation. Isocyanates can also sensitize workers, making them subject to severe asthma attacks if they are exposed again. There is evidence that both respiratory and dermal exposures can lead to sensitization. Death from severe asthma in some sensitized subjects has been reported. Workers potentially exposed to isocyanates who experience persistent or recurring eye irritation, nasal congestion, dry or sore throat, cold-like symptoms, cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, or chest tightness should see a physician knowledgeable in work-related health problems.” (https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/isocyanates/; accessed November 2019)