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Asthma rates below average in US flexible foam plants

By: URETHANES TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL

March 5, 2013

LOUDON, TENN. — A report sponsored by the U.S. Polyurethane Foam Association, concentrating on the country's larger flexible polyurethane foam plants, has found that asthma is lower at these plants than in the general population.

The data, presented during a Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program in Loudon, Tenn., suggests that workers in the plants which were surveyed were well protected from exposure by training and control technology.

Information was gathered at plants accounting for 90 percent of PU flexible foam production over a 24 year period. The data was collected and analyzed by a law firm based in Washington, DC, McIntyre & Lemon pllc.

The survey includes two sets of data from 1988-2007 and 2008-2011. The 2008 survey provided historical data on more than 1300 workers in 23 manufacturing sites; the 2012 update polled 1037 workers in 38 plants.

The report abstract said:

The results indicated that the incidence of self-reported occupational asthma was infrequent representing less than 1 percent of the related worker population. Medically confirmed cases were less frequent. In fact, no medically confirmed cases of occupational asthma were reported among the 23 responding FPF production plants during the five years prior to the survey.

Read the abstract of the report "TDI Emissions and Exposure Monitoring and Control in Flexible Slabstock Plants: A 20-Year History of Safety" by Lynn Knudtson, Polyurethane Foam Association.

http://www.pfa.org/abstracts/aboct08.html