A case of worker ’s exposure reductions for chemicals in a polyurethane pad process through the substitution of raw materials
- J Jang, H Park
- J Kor Soc Occup Environ Hyg
Various amines, such as triethylamine and N,N-dimethylethylamine, have been reported to cause glaucopsia in workers employed in epoxy, foundry, and polyurethane foam industries. This symptom has been related to corneal edema and vesicular collection of fluid within the corneal subepithelial cells. Exposure to amine vapors for 30 min to several hours leads to blurring of vision, a blue-grey appearance of objects, and halos around lights, that are probably reversible. Concentration-effect relationships have been established. The visual disturbance is considered a nuisance, as it could cause onsite accidents, impair work efficiency, and create difficulties in driving back home. Occupational exposure limits have been established for some amines, but there is shortage of criteria. Volatility factors, such as vapor pressure, should be considered in industrial settings to prevent human ocular risks, while trying to reduce levels of hazardous amines in the atmosphere.