Longitudinal and Cross-sectional Analyses of Lung Function in Toluene Diisocyanate Production Workers

J Occup Environ Med. 2017 Dec;59 Suppl 12(Suppl 12):S28-S35. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001124.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate lung function among toluene diisocyanate (TDI) production workers.

Methods: One hundred ninety-seven U.S workers performed spirometry from 2006 through 2012. Results were compared within the study cohort and with U.S. population measures. A mixed-effects model assessed factors affecting repeated forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) measurements.

Results: The cohort's mean FEV1 and forced vital capacity (FVC) percent reference values, although greater than 90%, were significantly lower and the prevalence of abnormal spirometry (predominantly restrictive pattern) was significantly higher than in the U.S.

Population: Differences in lung function among workers with higher cumulative TDI exposure were in the direction of an exposure effect, but not significant.

Conclusion: We found little evidence of an adverse effect of TDI exposure on longitudinal spirometry in these workers. The association between TDI exposure and the increasing prevalence of a restrictive pattern needs further exploration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Chemical Industry
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Spirometry
  • Toluene 2,4-Diisocyanate / adverse effects*
  • Vital Capacity / drug effects
  • Young Adult


  • Toluene 2,4-Diisocyanate