The PFA meeting in St Petersburg, Florida is a place where US flexible foamers meet to discuss the issues of the day, Sarah Houlton went along.
The 2016 Spring meeting of the Polyurethane Foam Association (PFA) gave participants the opportunity to hear about a range of industry issues, including regulatory and technical topics.
Regulations covering occupational asthma and TDI limits continue to cause concern across the US flexible foam sector.
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGHI) has reduced its time-weighted average Threshold Limit Value (TLV) exposure level for TDI from 5ppb to 1ppb, for example.
However, Bill Robert of the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) diisocyanate panel said that ACGIH’s desire to cut the TLV limits is not supported by any of the scientific information it had when setting the original limits in 2004, and there has been no new rationale (data implying additional risk) since then.
“They saw that [the original TLV recommendation] reduced occupational asthma and thought lowering the limits further would reduce it again,” Robert said. “It’s not technically feasible to monitor at lower levels, as 1ppb strains the limits of technology.” There is a risk that these levels may be automatically adopted in Canada, and the ACC diisocyanates panel is looking to hire a lobbyist…