DeMarco, Negle & Lane LLP has partnered with the legal firm of Savinis, D’Amico & Kane, LLP in a new field of health- related legal services to assist persons exposed to isocyanate chemicals. It is the belief of DeMarco, Negle & Lane LLP that we as attorneys have a responsibility to identify areas where legal services may be needed for a broad population that may be at risk. One area that we have identified is legal claims for disease, injury nor death due to isocyanates. The firm of Savinis, D’Amico & Kane, LLP is experienced in providing successful representation of persons injured by chemicals and other toxins. The attorneys of Savinis, D’Amico & Kane, LLP have earned a reputation as aggressive and successful litigation attorneys who get results. For this reason we have added this information to the firm web presence.

Persons have a right to know whether exposure to hazardous items such as isocyanates is part of the employment and there must be safety in training and in the actual use of isocyanates.

Workers need to know that respirators alone may not be enough because isocyanates do not have warning properties; they simply do not smell bad or dangerous. For this reason an air supplied respirator is a common safety device, but the respirator must be used consistently and the respirator must be in good working order. Also, the source of the air must not itself be contaminated.

Some questions to ask regarding isocyanates and Isocyanate exposure are:

  • Have you worked in the past as an auto body worker?
  • Have you worked in the past as an auto repair worker?
  • Are you a painter?
  • Are you a coating finisher?
  • Have you worked in the past as a varnisher?
  • Have you worked in the past as a polyurethane applier?
  • Have you worked in the past as a worker in the manufacture of foams?
  • Have you worked in the past as a worker in the manufacture of paints?
  • Have you worked in the past as a worker in the manufacture of coatings?
  • Have you worked in the past as a worker in the manufacture of polymers?
  • Have you worked in the past as a worker in the manufacture of lacquers?
  • Have you worked in the past as a worker in the manufacture of packaging materials?
  • Have you worked in the past as a worker in the manufacture of laminated fabrics?
  • Have you worked in the past as a worker in the manufacture of polyurethane rubber?
  • Have you worked in the past as a worker in the manufacture of adhesives?
  • Have you worked in the past as a worker in the manufacture of soft flexible foams containing TDI?
  • Have you worked in the past as a worker in the manufacture of hard rigid foams containing MDI?
  • Have you worked in the past as a worker in the manufacture of electrical insulation?
  • Have you worked in the past in a car dealer repair and paint shop?
  • Have you worked in the past performing automobile painting in a spray facility?
  • Do you wish to know your rights regarding possible isocyanate chemical exposure?

If the answer is “Yes” to any of these questions, then you may wish to contact DeMarco, Negle & Lane LLP for further information at the email address of ISO@demarcolawoffice.com. Please use the subject “isocyanate” in your email. Emails will give the sender the opportunity to schedule a direct attorney client communication, but the email alone is only an initial inquiry and cannot be used for any other purpose.

If you have worked in any of the industries described in this article, you may be entitled to receive compensation for an isocyanate related injury. Contact DeMarco, Negle & Lane LLP to become informed of the special Isocyanate exposure project and rights to receive compensation for injuries caused by isocyanate exposure.

APPENDIX:

Isocyanates are a group of chemicals that are highly reactive and have a low molecular weight. They are in wide and persistent use in the production and manufacturing of flexible foam products, rigid foam products, chemical based fibers, and chemical based coatings. Look for Isocyanates in paints, varnishes, and elastomers. Isocyanates are common in the automobile manufacture and repair industry, particular auto body repair work and painting applications. Also look for them in the production and application of insulation materials in buildings. Some important areas are spray applied polyurethane products in retail, uses to protect products, as well as protection sprays and coatings in truck beds, trailers, boats, decks and in foundations. Isocyanate sprays are used to seal and protect steel, aluminum, fiberglass and other types of sheet materials.

Isocyanate chemicals are known to irritate mucous membranes. The symptoms of irritation appear in gastrointestinal tracts, in the eyes, in the lungs and in throat tracts. Workers exposed to Isocyanates in the air can develop sensitivity and they suffer acute asthma after repeated exposure. Once a worker becomes sensitive to Isocyanate chemicals the asthma may become so severe that death can occur from an asthma attack. Workers with constant symptoms of irritated eyes, stuffy nose, congestion, sore throat, dry throat, trouble with breath can have a physician look for chemical exposure injury.

Although one of the common conditions associated with isocyanates is asthma, skin of the body can become inflamed from exposure causing chronic skin conditions.

Many chemicals referred to as diisocyanates contain two forms of isocyanate compounds. Other chemicals are a second generation of diisocyanates and are called polyisocyanates because they may have several groups in their composition all of which are part of the isocyanate chemical grouping.

Some key initials used to describe diisocyanates are: MDI which is a short form of the chemical methylenebis(phenyl isocyanate), TDI which describes toluene diisocyanate, as well as HDI which is a short form initials of hexamethylene diisocyanate, NDI to refer to naphthalene diisocyanate, HMDI referring to the chemical compound named methylene bis-cyclohexylisocyanate (or Hydrogenated MDI). Also look for IPDI which is a chemical listed as isophorone diisocyanate. When searching the literature and information concerning polyisocyanates the initials and short form name HDI biuret is found and the short name HDI isocyanurate is also found.

Occupation related asthma commonly can be associated to work exposure to any one or more of the isocyanate chemicals. Some examples of workers who may suffer from work exposure are workers using spray equipment in automobile repair ships, in the writings these workers are grouped with the letters MVR. Isocyanate chemicals are a key component of manufacturing of polyurethane products which cover many types of manufacturing and diverse applications, none the less; workers showing asthma symptoms should consider the possibility of prior work exposure isocyanate chemicals, diisocyanate compounds or polyisocyanates.

Some of the key words to search for in determining available resources related to possible Isocyanate exposure and injury are: When are isocyanates, diisocyanates, or polyisocyanates found to cause allergic reactions? What is occupational respiratory injury or disease? What tests are used to diagnose and determine injury from exposure in the workplace to unsafe levels of the hazardous chemicals called isocyanates, diisocyanates, or polyisocyanates? Are there any genetic signs and facts that impact harm from exposure to unsafe levels of isocyanates, diisocyanates, or polyisocyanates? If a worker who was exposed to unsafe levels of the hazardous chemicals in the isocyanate,
diisocyanate, or polyisocyanate groups is tested what genetic testes can be performed to show an increased risk of disease? Will a physician order a study of the worker’s inhalation capabilities after exposure to isocyanates, diisocyanates, or polyisocyanates? Are there certain factors in a worker’s job that increase the risk of disease from isocyanates, diisocyanates, or polyisocyanates? If a worker has pulmonary disease or asthma in the bronchial system should there be testing for prior exposure to unsafe levels of isocyanates, diisocyanates, or polyisocyanates?

After only a few exposures to unsafe levels of isocyanates, diisocyanates, or polyisocyanates disease can result. Some industry areas are: Automobile Body Repair and painting- spray boot and respirator presence on the site. Workers who spray or apply varnish or paints called polyurethane. Employees in the factory area with foam, paint, lacquer and chemical based products to apply coatings, including electrical wire insulation, have a larger than normal risk of isocyanate hazards. Many workers and employees are in areas that manufacture chemical polymers and may suffer disease as a result of unsafe levels of isocyanates. Chemical linkages result in ureathane compounds. One group composed of a linkage between isocyanate and hydrolxy produces a pesticide containing or in which methyl isocyanate is used this chemical has the short letter form of MCI. Workers must be aware that these chemicals are hazardous and can be classified as having a high degree of hazard, particularly when they pass in the form of vapors and very fine drops of fluid that enter the mouth and lungs or fall on the skin.

The production and sale of diisocyanates is in the millions of tons throughout the world. In the United States many tons are in use in paint and coatings, in pesticide facilities, in foams and in spray application. As a result, workers with a skin rash, dermatitis, dysfunction of the liver, asthma, loss of kidney function should have testing to determine possible exposure to isocyanates.

In repairs, rebuilding or manufacturing where heat is applied to isocyanate chemicals hydrogen cyanide results. Some chemicals including Methylisocyanate can create the well known chemical called tear gas when released. Even in low concentrations Methylisocyanate or toluene diisocyanatecan cause permanent injury and death.

To better assist in the search for information concerning isocyanates other references may be helpful. For example, there are common names for isocyanate chemical products, such as, Centari, Imron, Nacconate, Rubinate, Desmodur, Isonate, Niax, Hylene, Mondur, and PAPI. These are trade names and no opinion is expressed or implied about these names as they are printed in the public domain. In this listing there is no intent to infringe on or use any trade name contrary to the rights of the registered owner.

NOTES:

No legal advice is expressed or implied by the materials presented in this article.

This article is for discussion purposes only.

This article alone does not and cannot establish an attorney- client relationship.

This article is not the delivery of or communication of legal advice.

Others may have different views or opinions concerning the subject matter of this
article.