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Toluene Diisocyanates Fact Sheet

This fact sheet is part of a series of chemical fact sheets developed by TURI to help Massachusetts companies, community organizations and residents understand the chemical's use and health and environmental effects, as well as the availability of safer alternatives. Since Massachusetts companies report usage under the Toxics Use Reduction Act, readers will learn how the chemicals are being used and by which companies.

Toluene-2,6-diisocyanate (2,6-TDI), toluene-2,4-diisocyanate (2,4-TDI), and toluene diisocyanate mixed isomers are the three forms of TDI commonly used in commerce. Acute exposure to TDIs can result in severe skin, eye, lung, and throat irritation. TDIs are possible carcinogens and may be teratogens (reproductive hazards). Workplaces are the primary source of exposure to TDIs, which are intermediary chemicals in the manufacture of polyurethanes. In Massachusetts, businesses used 7.4 million pounds of TDIs in 1998.

There is limited evidence that 2,4-TDI may be a reproductive hazard; it has caused temporary impotence in males. It is a mutagen, causing genetic changes.

Learn more about Toluene diisocyanate health effects, use in Massachusetts, and alternatives here.