ACC, OSHA Sign Alliance Focused on Diisocyanates

The two-year Alliance has three primary goals: raising awareness of OSHA's rulemaking and enforcement initiatives; conducting training to educate employers, workers, and OSHA officials on safety issues; and developing effective outreach and communication efforts to increase the visibility of the partnership and its goals.

The American Chemistry Council has joined OSHA in a new Alliance to boost workers' health and safety in workplaces operating with diisocyanate chemicals along the polyurethane value chain. Three groups from the council will lead the work with OSHA: the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry, Diisocyanates, and Aliphatic Diisocyanates panels.

ACC's Sept. 14 announcement said the two-year Alliance has three primary goals: raising awareness of OSHA's rulemaking and enforcement initiatives; conducting training to educate employers, workers, and OSHA officials on safety issues; and developing effective outreach and communication efforts to increase the visibility of the partnership and its goals.

"We're thrilled to be working with OSHA on making American workplaces even safer, which has always been a top priority for CPI and ACC as a whole," said Lee Salamone, senior director of CPI. "Our partnership with OSHA will build on our strong foundation of product stewardship and outreach and will help us identify additional areas of emphasis so we can better target our activities."

The two organizations' agreement, signed Sept. 13, says the Alliance partnership aims to provide information, guidance, and access to training resources to members, occupational physicians, stakeholders, and others in the polyurethanes value chain. "The chemical industry is committed to safety, and this partnership supports our continuing efforts to enhance worker protection," said Sahar Osman-Sypher, director of DII and ADI. "The partnership will work toward further educating workers and employers on how to use diisocyanates safely in their everyday working environment."

According to EPA, diisocyanates are well-known dermal and inhalation sensitizers in the workplace and have been documented to cause asthma and lung damage, but the ACC center says manufacturers, in partnership with downstream users, have implemented product stewardship activities that have contributed to a reduction in diisocyanate-related asthma cases, even as production rates of diisocyanates have increased. Diisocyanates are chemical building blocks used to make polyurethanes for furniture, appliances, apparel and more.

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