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Aromatic isocyanates – TDI / MDI

This page brings together the main information on aromatic isocyanates, more precisely Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and Diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI), their physical characteristics, their health effects, the detection means (aromatic isocyanate gas detector) as well as suitable respiratory protection equipment (gas mask or PAPR with type E-P2 combined filter).

Aromatic isocyanate detectors TDI MDI

Aromatic isocyanates properties

Aromatic isocyanates are used today in polyurethanes synthesis. Toluene diisocyanate, also called TDI, is used mainly in flexible padding foams manufacturing. Diphenylmethane diisocyanate, also called MDI, is useful in the production of rigid foams for insulation and can also be used as a binder in foundries.

GazCASTWA (8 hours)STEL (15 minutes)LELIPDensity / AirFilter / SCBA
TDI26471-62-50,01 ppm0,02 ppm0.9 %6A2B2, P3
4,4′-MDI101-68-80,01 ppm0,02 ppm8.5A, P3

Aromatic isocyanates effects on health

TDI (Toluene Diisocyanate) is a colorless or pale yellow liquid with a pungent, penetrating odor detectable at low concentrations (in the 1 to 2 ppm range). 4,4′-MDI (Diphenylmethane diisocyanate) shapes as white or pale yellow crystals with a faint musty odor.

Acute exposure to TDI and MDI isocyanates causes damage to the respiratory mucous membranes which can be severe. Irritation of the skin and eyes can also be particularly severe. Chronic exposure to TDI can cause occupational asthma, as well as an accelerated decline of the respiratory function. Repeated MDI exposure results in allergic manifestations: eczema, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, conjunctivitis.

TDI effects on health

TDI effects of on health (Toluene diisocyanate )

Short exposure at high concentrations, MDI can cause reactions that may only a few hours after: irritation of the mucous membranes (conjunctivitis, rhinitis, pharyngitis, nausea, vomiting), skin irritation, pulmonary irritation (chest pain, cough, etc.), neurological disorders (dizziness, disturbances of balance and consciousness, headaches) and in the most serious cases pulmonary edema.

In case of repeated MDI low concentrations exposure, reactions may appear a few weeks to several years later: contact eczema, allergic asthma or even hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Aromatic isocyanate detectors (TDI MDI)

Few equipment is available for monitoring aromatic isocyanates: passive chemical detection badges to be worn by employees, or a much more complex (expensive) optical gas analysis device.

Dräger colorimetric reagent tubes for instant gas concentrations measurement in ambient air with maximum reliability.

  • Dräger reagent tubes for gas measurement
  • Measures over 500 gases and vapors (200 tube references)
  • Simple process for precise measurement
  • 0 to 15 minutes test time
  • Operating with manual or automatic pump
  • Excellent value

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Dräger reagent tubes

Dräger colorimetric reagent tubes for instant gas concentrations measurement in ambient air with maximum reliability.

Dräger reagent tubes for gas measurement
  • Measures over 500 gases and vapors (200 tube references)
  • Simple process for precise measurement
  • 0 to 15 minutes test time
  • Operating with manual or automatic pump
  • Excellent value
Additional information

Dräger reagent tubes are the benchmark in the spot gas measurement field. The range covers over 200 references for the measurement of more than 500 gases and vapors.

Dräger tubes are easy to use, require no special know-how and require no maintenance. They give an accurate measurement directly on the marked tube. These reagent tubes must be used with the Accuro manual pump or the Dräger X-act 5000 automatic sampling pump.

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The SafeAir passive sampling badge is personal equipment for monitoring exposure to isocyanate gases (TDI, MDI), ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde, hydrazine, mercury, ozone, phosgene, etc.

  • SafeAir chemical detection badge
  • Available for 13 different gases
  • Quickly indicates the presence of contaminant
  • Ideal for daily employee screening
  • Indication of the average exposure value
  • No calibration or laboratory analysis required
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SafeAir chemical detection badge

The SafeAir passive sampling badge is personal equipment for monitoring exposure to isocyanate gases (TDI, MDI), ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde, hydrazine, mercury, ozone, phosgene, etc.

SafeAir chemical detection badge
  • Available for 13 different gases
  • Quickly indicates the presence of contaminant
  • Ideal for daily employee screening
  • Indication of the average exposure value
  • No calibration or laboratory analysis required
Additional information

The SafeAir chemical detection badge is easy to use and does not require any special skills. It can detect the presence of gas even at very low concentrations.
Thanks to its ease of use, the SafeAir chemical detection badge is the easiest portable gas detection solution. Just take it out of its packaging and hang it on a piece of clothing close to the respiratory tract.
For better accuracy in the analysis of the average exposure value, all you need to do is use the associated color comparator. Available for 5 models, it allows you to compare the color of the SafeAir badge with those present on the comparator. In a few seconds it is thus possible to know the precise rate of exposure to the gas.
SafeAir chemical detection badges can be stored in the refrigerator at 4 °C in their sealed packaging. They can thus be stored between 1 and 3 years.

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The Honeywell Analytics SPM Flex is an optical calibration-free gas optical analysis system. This single point tape-based toxic gas detector can accurately (ppb measurement) and swiftly monitor the presence of a hazardous gas.

  • Honeywell SPM Flex gas monitor with optical toxic gas analysis
  • Chemcassette® technology – immune to interferences, more than 50 available gases.
  • Calibration-free, minimal maintenance .
  • Audiovisual alarm (2 thresholds).
  • User-friendly interface and gas concentration digital display.
  • UL 61010-1 / CSA-C22.2 / IEC 61010-1 certified
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Toxic gas optical analysis – SPM FLEX gas detector

The Honeywell Analytics SPM Flex is an optical calibration-free gas optical analysis system. This single point tape-based toxic gas detector can accurately (ppb measurement) and swiftly monitor the presence of a hazardous gas.

Honeywell SPM Flex gas monitor with optical toxic gas analysis
  • Chemcassette® technology – immune to interferences, more than 50 available gases.
  • Calibration-free, minimal maintenance .
  • Audiovisual alarm (2 thresholds).
  • User-friendly interface and gas concentration digital display.
  • UL 61010-1 / CSA-C22.2 / IEC 61010-1 certified
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Aromatic isocyanates respiratory protection (TDI MDI)

As isocyanates are very irritating to the eyes and to the respiratory tract, it is recommended to opt for a full face mask for short interventions, or in rooms with a low gas concentration or for a powered air purifying respirator (more comfortable), with A2B2-P3 combined filters for TDI or A-P3 for MDI. In case of emergency interventions, a self-contained breathing apparatus will be imperative.

Half-mask respirator X-plore 3300 with innovative mounting system for optimal operating comfort. This Gas mask is fully compatible with the X-plore bayonet filter cartridge range.

  • half mask respirator , dual cartridge gas mask Dräger X-plore 3300
  • Flexible nose area for optimal sealing
  • Reduced and cost-effective maintenance
  • Large field of view
  • Innovative X mounting system
  • Large range of compatible filters
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Half-mask respirator X-plore 3300

Half-mask respirator X-plore 3300 with innovative mounting system for optimal operating comfort. This Gas mask is fully compatible with the X-plore bayonet filter cartridge range.

half mask respirator , dual cartridge gas mask Dräger X-plore 3300
  • Flexible nose area for optimal sealing
  • Reduced and cost-effective maintenance
  • Large field of view
  • Innovative X mounting system
  • Large range of compatible filters
Additional information

Available in three different sizes – S (small), M (medium) and L (large) – the X-plore 3300 half mask respirator has been designed to provide maximum comfort to its user.

Made of soft material, this dual cartridge respirator features a specific design especially well-suited for use in addition to head protective units and safety goggles. Thanks to a soft and flexible nose area and the lateral location of air purifying filters, the X-plore 3300 gas mask provides its user with large field of view and optimal adjustment. Because of a specific X design of the harness, this dual cartridge respirator is very easy to don and to remove and fits perfectly with the user’s face. Moreover, this harness allows better weight balance and enhances comfort of use without pressure.

Particularly cost-effective, the X-plore 3300 half mask also features reduced maintenance. The right choice for operators who need comfortable respiratory protective equipment at lower prices.

Finally, the X-plore 3300 respiratory protective half mask respirator is made for use with the X-plore series bayonet filters. This filtering cartridge range combines air purifying power to modern design for an optimal comfort of use. Thanks to their rugged plastic design, these filters are highly resistant.

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The X-plore 6300 is a respiratory protective full face respirator. Cost effective, this is an ideal solution for industrial applications, providing users comfort and air purifying performance.

  • The X-plore 6300 full face respirator, a single filter gas mask by Dräger
  • Universal size
  • Large field of view
  • Hypoalergenic material
  • Integrated ventilation system
  • Compatible with X-plore Rd 40 filter series
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Full face respirator X-plore 6300

The X-plore 6300 is a respiratory protective full face respirator. Cost effective, this is an ideal solution for industrial applications, providing users comfort and air purifying performance.

The X-plore 6300 full face respirator, a single filter gas mask by Dräger
  • Universal size
  • Large field of view
  • Hypoalergenic material
  • Integrated ventilation system
  • Compatible with X-plore Rd 40 filter series
Additional information

The X-plore 6300 single filter gas mask is a respiratory protective device that has been especially designed for use in industrial environments.

Made of ultra-resistant and hypoalergenic EPDM elastomer, this full face respirator features a dual airtight seal for maximal reliability, comfort and safety. Cost-effective, this mask fits perfectly in any morphology and any face shape witout annoying its wearer.

The large facepiece visor is made of PMMA plexiglass (polymethyl methacrylate) and features a plastic frame to offer a large 180° field of view without distorsion and an outstanding panoramic view. This visor is also especially treated to be scratch resistant. Moreover, the X-plore 6300 mask is equipped with an integrated ventilation system in order to avoid presence of steam and condensation inside the full facepiece.

Thanks to its universal size and its 5-point specific harness, this respirator is very easy to don and to remove. The special design of its donning straps avoids any pressure on the head or the face of the user. This way, the X-plore 6300 can be worn during long periods of time without annoying the user. taille. Furthermore, thanks to this standard size and its low weight – approximately 500 grams – the X-plore 6300 single cartridge respirator is easier to carry and to store.

Lastly, this respiratory protective full face respirator is fully compatible with X-plore Rd 40 series filters. These filters feature universal 40 mm connector threads in compliance with the EN 148-1 European standard. These filters are especially designed to purify air from any contaminant that could be harmful for the user. This filter range provides reliable and efficient protection in any situation against toxic substances – gas or particles. Thus, the X-plore 6300 single filter gas mask can be equipped with a particle filter, a gas filter or a combined filter to respond to any demanding application.

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The X-plore 8000 is a powered air purifying respirator especially designed to provide a reliable and convenient respiratory protection solution. Fully modular, this system can operate for at least 4 hours with only one charge for safe applications.

  • The X-plore 8000 PAPR respirator system by Dräger enhanced positive pressure respirator
  • Rugged design for daily use
  • Modular and versatile
  • Comfortable and secured with rubber protectors
  • Easy to disassemble for easy servicing
  • Compatible with a large range of accessories
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PAPR respirator system X-plore 8000

The X-plore 8000 is a powered air purifying respirator especially designed to provide a reliable and convenient respiratory protection solution. Fully modular, this system can operate for at least 4 hours with only one charge for safe applications.

The X-plore 8000 PAPR respirator system by Dräger enhanced positive pressure respirator
  • Rugged design for daily use
  • Modular and versatile
  • Comfortable and secured with rubber protectors
  • Easy to disassemble for easy servicing
  • Compatible with a large range of accessories
Additional information

The X-plore 800 PAPR respirator system has been especially designed to enable its user to operate safely in toxic environments. Thanks to its robust designIP65 certified against dust and water jets – this positive pressure air purifying respiratory protective device is particularly well-suited for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX).

The X-plore 8000 PAPR respirator system is composed by a rugged casing that can includes a whole range of specific PAPR filters in order to meet requirements of almost any industrial application. A breathing hose available in three different versions and a face piece (PAPR mask or hood) complete this system. The device can be worn with a special belt and can be equipped with a standard battery, which provides at least 4 hours run time, or a high capacity battery for an extended run time of at least 8 hours. The belt ensures optimal comfort of use and perfect weight balance. This positive pressure respirator has been especially engineered to fit perfectly the user without disturbance.

Available in standard version as well as ATEX certified fireproof version, the X-plore 8000 respirator features protected air inlets which ensure that no dust, water or even sparks come into contact with filters.

Thanks to its enhanced technology, the PAPR respirator system automatically detects the connected face piece in order to adjust the injected airflow. Integrated temperature and pressure sensors in the housing also enable the automatic adjustment of the airflow. A wide range of face pieces – PAPR hoods & masks - is available to meet even the most demanding requirements from any application. This way, the housing of the X-plore 8000 can be connected to half-hoods, full hoods, protective visors, helmets, half-masks, panoramic masks or even helmets specifically dedicated to welding activities.

The X-plore 8000 PAPR respirator also features a smart alarm system which purpose is to alert user in case of problems. This way, if the air flow is not sufficient or in case of low battery status, visual (operational display), acoustic (80 dBA at 1 meter) and vibrating alarms activate to alert user of the failure. Moreover, an integrated optical sensor avoids any use without a filter for an optimal safety of use.

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The X-plore 5500 is a full facepiece respirator mask especially designed to provide its users breathing and visual protection against gases and particles.

  • X-plore 5500 gas mask by Drager: dual filter respirator
  • Airtight and secured design
  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • 180° large field of view
  • Efficient ventilation system
  • Compatible with the X-plore filters range
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Full facepiece respirator X-plore 5500

The X-plore 5500 is a full facepiece respirator mask especially designed to provide its users breathing and visual protection against gases and particles.

X-plore 5500 gas mask by Drager: dual filter respirator
  • Airtight and secured design
  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • 180° large field of view
  • Efficient ventilation system
  • Compatible with the X-plore filters range
Additional information

Especially designed to provide an optimal protection in presence of gas or particles, the X-plore 5500 full facepiece respirator is widely used in many industrial applications (particularly in the chemical and steel industries) but also shipyard industry…

Equipped with a visor made of polycarbonate or triplex glass, the X-plore 5500 mask provides its wearer a large field of vision without distortion. The polycarbonate panoramic visor features a frame made of plastics and is highly resistant to shocks while the glass visor – with stainless steel frame – is treated against scratches and chemical products.

The mask itself features a specific dual seal with triple sealing edges to offer optimal tightness and protection. The body of the dual filter gas mask is made of ultra-resistant EPDM elastomer that fits any morphology and face shape. This way, the mask remains comfortable to wear. Moreover, thanks to its unique standard size, this full facepiece respirator is easy to transport and to store.

As it is a respiratory protective full face mask, steam can appear on the visor. In order to resolve this matter, the le X-plore 5500 is equipped with a special integrated ventilation system. This system has been engineered to protect the visor against any risk of condensation in order to ensure clear view in any situation.

Thanks to its comfortable 5-point flanged harness, the X-plore 550 can be worn and removed easily and quickly. Moreover, its connecting straps have been especially designed to avoid pressure on the head or the face of the user.

The X-plore 5500 dual filter gas mask features two connectors located on both sides to connect two air filtering cartridges. Furthermore, as the filters are positioned laterally and backwards, the field of vision of the user remains perfectly unobstructed. This breathing protection equipment is fully compatible with the X-plore series bayonet filters. These filters are especially designed to provide optimal protection against harmful gases, vapors and particles. Thanks to their bayonet connection system, they can be easily and quickly installed in order to operate as soon as possible.

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