Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry


September 18, 2012

Quick facts sheet

Three new “quick facts” fact sheets from Oregon OSHA

Oregon OSHA has new “quick facts” fact sheets on diisocyanates, methylene chloride, and hydrofluoric acid. Quick facts tell employees “just the facts” about safety and health topics in English and Spanish. Quick facts fact sheets are available only online on Oregon OSHA’s Publications page; click on Fact Sheets.

  • Diisocyanates are chemicals used to make polyurethane. Polyurethane is a plastic material that has many different commercial uses including building insulation, paint, varnishes, and spray-on coatings for truck beds, trailers, boats, and decks. If you use products that contain polyurethane where you work, you should know about diisocyanates, which can irritate your eyes, throat, nose, and skin.
  • Methylene chloride (MC) is a colorless liquid used as paint and varnish remover, a solvent, and a degreaser. It can severely burn your skin and eyes. It can also damage your liver, kidneys, and brain. Bathtub and tile refinishers who use methylene chloride-based products should be especially careful to reduce their exposure and protect themselves.
  • Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is a colorless liquid that has a strong irritating odor. It’s used to etch and polish glass, to clean surfaces such as stone, brick, and marble, and to make pesticides, plastics, and fuels. HF is very dangerous because it’s easily absorbed by unprotected skin. HF can cause severe burns, which are very painful and slow to heal. If you get HF on your skin, you may not be aware of pain or burning until hours after the exposure.


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