By David Reed, UT EditorArlington, Virginia-The Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry (API) has formed an alliance with various offices of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to focus on reducing and preventing exposure of workers to diisocyanates during the application of spray-on truck-bed liners.Truck-bed lining products are principally polyurethane, polyurea, or polyurea hybrid systems based on MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate). After application and curing, they protect vehicles from wear and tear over many years, but concern has grown that during the spraying process workers can be exposed to the raw materials involved, the API said in a 13 July statement. And MDI-based system have been known to cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, lungs and skin, and can cause allergic reactions (sensitisation) of the skin and lungs, the statement added.To address these concerns, and show how they can be reduced with specific handling and care, the API published a brochure, Truck Bed Liners; Worker Protection, late last year. The new alliance-between the API and federal offices of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin, and state plan OSHAs in Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota-will work to raise industry awareness of the hazards of the spraying process and inform businesses of the value of a company's commitment to employee safety and health."Due to the small size of many businesses in the truck-bed liner industry, it can be difficult to target and educate workers about how to protect themselves from exposures to diisocyanates," said Dick Mericle, executive director of API. "This alliance with OSHA will bring together industry experts to address important worker safety issues such as the proper use of personal protective equipment and respirators and proper maintenance of equipment and ventilation booths," his statement concluded."