On January 8, 2015 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is taking action to protect consumers from new uses and imports of toluene diisocyanates (TDI). These chemicals are potent dermal and inhalation sensitizers. Exposure to TDI can lead to asthma, lung damage, and in severe cases even death. TDI is applied in the production of polyurethanes and used in coatings, elastomers, adhesives and sealants for consumer products. Under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA), EPA is now proposing a significant new use rule (SNUR) for TDI and related compounds. The proposed decision would allow EPA to assess the use of, and if needed, to prohibit or limit all products containing over 0.1% of TDI including imported products sold in the U.S.. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently allows TDI as a food additive in polyurethane resins for bulk storage of dry food of an appropriate type in accordance with the conditions given in Title 21 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 177.1680. Use of TDI in food and food packaging is not affected by TSCA, thus also not by the new rule proposed by EPA.
U.S. EPA (January 8, 2015). “EPA proposes rule to protect consumers from harmful chemicals found in homes and schools.”
U.S. EPA (January 7, 2015). “Proposed rule – toluene diisocyanates (TDI) and related compounds; Significant New Use Rule.” (pdf)