Do you use MbOCA?
MbOCA and you
- What does my employer have to do?
- What should you do?
- Good working practices
- Medical checks
- If you still have concerns
MbOCA is used in the manufacture of some moulded polyurethane articles. It usually comes in pellets, granules, or in a liquid form. MbOCA may cause bladder cancer if it is breathed in, taken into the body with food, drink or cigarettes, or absorbed through the skin. MbOCA is also known as methylene bis (ortho-chloroaniline), methylene bis(2-chloroaniline)or 2,2'-dichloro-4,4'-methylene dianiline.
What does my employer have to do?
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 1994 require your employer to:
- assess the risks to your health;
- prevent your exposure to MbOCA, or where this cannot be reasonably done, reduce it as far as is reasonably practicable and in any case below the maximum exposure limit of 0.005 mg/m3;
- provide and maintain all the necessary exposure control measures and train you in their use;
- provide you with protective clothing, including gloves which are designed to protect your skin from MbOCA;
- to arrange for you to have any health checks that are necessary.
What should you do?
Keep MbOCA off your skin - wear gloves, gauntlets and coveralls whenever you handle MbOCA or freshly moulded articles or freshly machined plastic.
Avoid getting MbOCA on your skin when you remove protective clothing, like gloves, gauntlets and coveralls. Don't share protective clothing and don't take protective clothing home to wash.
Wash your hands thoroughly with sopa and water immediately after you take off your gloves.
If you do get MbOCA on your skin, wash immediately with soap and water.
Wear safety glasses or goggles or a face shield if there is a risk of splashing.
Don't smoke, eat or drink when you are working with MbOCA or when you are close to where it is being handled. Smoke, eat and drink only in areas set aside for those purposes.
Always remove your protective clothing and wash your hands before smoking, eating or drinking.
Good working practices
If you weigh, melt, mix or pour MbOCA, do it in an enclosure or fume cupboard fitted with exhaust ventilation.
Make sure you wear a respirator where your employer's risk assessment shows that you could breathe in MbOCA in the work you do.
If you have to move MbOCA about outside a ventilated enclosure, always use closed containers.
Don't get MbOCA on surfaces, door handles etc.
Clean up spillages following agreed procedures.
If you handle MbOCA regularly your employer should arrange for you to have tests to measure the amount of MbOCA in your urine. If the result is high it does not necessarily mean that you will become ill. But it does mean that your exposure to MbOCA is not being adequately controlled. So your employer should look at how you are handling MbOCA to see if they can reduce your exposure.
If you do develop any urinary symptoms, particularly blood in your urine, consult your doctor right away and take this leaflet with you.
If you still have concerns
If you have any concerns about the use of MbOCA, raise them with your employer or your safety representative.
HSE priced and free publications are available by mail order from:
HSE Books, TSO Customer Services, PO Box 29, Norwich, NR3 1GN, Tel: +44 (0)333 202 5070
HSE priced publications are also available from good booksellers.
This leaflet contains notes on good practice which are not compulsory but which you may find helpful in considering what you need to do.
This publication may be freely reproduced, except for
endorsement or commercial purposes. The information is current
at 5/96. Please acknowledge the source as HSE.
MS(A)21 5/96 C60
Added to the web Site 8/7/98