Longitudinal study of workers employed in the manufacture of toluene-diisocyanate

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1977 Sep;116(3):411-21. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1977.116.3.411.


Workers at a toluene-diisocyanate manufacturing plant were studied longitudinally to determine the effects of the chemical on their health. Studies included health questionnaire, pulmonary function, environmental monitoring, and immunologic testing. Workers reporting increased lower respiratory symptoms were from the nonsmoker group. Environmental monitoring showed frequent excursions of toluene-diisocyanate concentrations above the threshold limiting value. There was poor correlation between area and personal exposure levels. No exposure-related decline of pulmonary function was demonstrable. Immunologic studies showed development of a positive skin test to a toluene-diisocyanate-human serum albumin conjugate by some persons and an increasing incidence of toluene-diisocyanate-specific IgE antibodies as measured by a radioallergosorbent test. Toluene-diisocyanate did not induce histamine release from leukocytes in vitro but did diminish the in vitro stimulation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate by isoproterenol. Most of the clinically sensitive persons demonstrated adverse bronchial response when challenged by inhalation of toluene-diisocyanate. This response was dose dependent in some persons. When challenged with Mecholyl, clinically sensitive persons showed greater reactivity of airways than nonsensitive persons.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / analysis
  • Cyanates / toxicity*
  • Cyclic AMP / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Environmental Pollution / analysis
  • Histamine Release
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / analysis
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Skin Tests
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Toluene 2,4-Diisocyanate / analysis
  • Toluene 2,4-Diisocyanate / immunology
  • Toluene 2,4-Diisocyanate / toxicity*


  • Antibodies
  • Cyanates
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Toluene 2,4-Diisocyanate
  • Cyclic AMP