Hypersensitivity pneumonitis-like reaction and occupational asthma associated with 1,3-bis(isocyanatomethyl) cyclohexane pre-polymer

Am J Ind Med. 1996 Jul;30(1):48-55. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0274(199607)30:1<48::AID-AJIM8>3.0.CO;2-O.


Twenty-three of 34 workers who had worked in the injection molding operation making polyurethane foam parts at an automobile parts manufacturing plant developed respiratory symptoms and/or systemic symptoms over a 2-month period following the full production use of a new diisocyanate paint that contained 1,3-bis(isocyanatomethyl)cyclohexane pre-polymer (BIC)(CAS #75138-76-0, 38661-72-2). At 3 months, all subjects underwent an interview, physical examination, pre- and post-shift pulmonary function tests, and either methacholine challenge test or bronchodilator challenge at an occupational health clinic. The most frequently cited symptoms were dyspnea (65%), cough (61%), chest tightness (57%), chills (57%), wheezing (30%), and myalgias, arthralgias, and nausea (26%). Thirteen subjects had either a positive methacholine challenge test or a positive response to bronchodilator challenge, making the overall prevalence of airway hyperresponsiveness 38%. The overall prevalence of hypersensitivity pneumonitis-like reactions among line operators in the injection molding process was 27%. This disease outbreak suggests that 1,3-bis(isocyanatomethyl)cyclohexane pre-polymer may cause asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis-like reactions. The use of BIC was discontinued 6 months after the first workers developed symptoms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / chemically induced*
  • Arthralgia / chemically induced
  • Asthma / chemically induced*
  • Automobiles
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / chemically induced
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Chest Pain / chemically induced
  • Cough / chemically induced
  • Cyclohexanes / adverse effects*
  • Dyspnea / chemically induced
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isocyanates / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Paint / adverse effects
  • Polymers / adverse effects*
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Sounds
  • Shivering


  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Cyclohexanes
  • Isocyanates
  • Polymers
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • 1,3-bis(isocyanatomethyl)cyclohexane