Polymer Processing Safety



  • The polymer processing workspace contains isocyanates.
  • Isocyanates are powerful irritants of the eyes, gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts.
  • Repeated exposure may increase your sensitivity to these chemicals
  • Avoid inhalation and direct contact with skin. Wear eye protection, nitrile gloves, and a lab coat when mixing and molding thermosetting materials in this facility.
  • Direct skin contact with can cause inflammation. Respiratory irritation may progress to a chemical bronchitis with severe bronchospasm. Isocyanates can also sensitize workers, making them subject to severe asthma attacks if they are exposed again–even at concentrations below exposure limits. Death from severe asthma in sensitized subjects has been reported. Sporadic cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) have also been reported in workers exposed to isocyanates
  • The polymer processing room contains chemical materials to which you likely have never previously been exposed. If you experience difficulty breathing, acquire redness to your skin, or contact dermatitis you may be experiencing an allergic reaction to these materials. Stop working in this facility immediately in this event and notify the machine shop manager.
  • Access to urethane casting materials is restricted to trained machine shop staff, and to students who completed polymer processing safety training.
  • Users are required to read mixing instruction data and safety data sheets supplied with materials used in polymer processing. An archive of materials is contained in a 3-ring binder stored in the polymer processing room. If you cannot locate the safety data sheet for materials you want to use, contact the machine shop manager before proceeding.