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Isocyanates are hazardous chemicals that are used in the manufacturing of polyurethane foams, rubbers and plastics. They are also present in the use of varnishes, adhesives and paints.


Exposure to isocyanate groups may result in occupational asthma and other severe adverse health effects.  As such it is a legislative requirement that health monitoring be provided to exposed workers for occupational safety and health purposes.

Isocyanate health surveillance programs must be conducted under the supervision of a medical practitioner with experience in health monitoring.


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Health Monitoring Requirements

A health monitoring program for workers exposed to isocyanates should involve:

  • A baseline health monitoring assessment at the commencement of employment
  • A periodic health monitoring assessment after six weeks of initial exposure
  • A periodic health monitoring assessment every six months (annually after 12 months should no adverse health effects be identified)
  • An exit health monitoring assessment at the termination of isocyanate exposure.

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HS Health Surveillance Services PA Pre-Employment Assessments P Pathology R Radiology IK Injury KINNECT Clinic K KINNECT Clinic QC Queensland Coal Industry / Silica Medicals R Rail Industry Medicals N New South Wales Coal Industry Medicals W Workplace Rehabilitation Services Remote Affiliate Clinics


      What work activities may involve Isocyanate exposure?

      Work activities that require health monitoring due to isocyanate exposure include:

      • Manufacturing operations, e.g. manufacturing polyurethane foams, synthetic rubbers, plastics production, insulation making, furniture making and cores for foundry casting
      • Spray painting operations, e.g. spray painting and spraying of resins, lacquers and adhesives containing isocyanates
      • The use of varnishes, e.g. timber floor finishing

      Is a urine isocyanate test required?

      It is not compulsory for a workers isocyanate exposure to be measured by a urinary isocyanate metabolite test. However, a medical practitioner may request such test should it be indicated with urine samples following the isocyanate task.

      What experience does KINNECT have with isocyanate health monitoring?

      KINNECT holds extensive experience with the evaluation and monitoring of isocyanate medicals. KINNECT currently coordinates isocyanate health monitoring programs for many large multi-national organisations.

      KINNECT’s occupational health doctors involved with the monitoring of isocyanate medicals, hold membership with the Royal College of General Practitioners. Our doctors also have over 25 years experience providing pre-employments, hazardous substance surveillance, injury management and other services. Our doctors hold a competency level 4 with respect to the health surveillance for all hazardous substances, including isocyanates.

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