Do you use MbOCA?
MbOCA and you
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
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
- 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
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
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
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
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
If you do develop any urinary symptoms, particularly blood in
your urine, consult your doctor right away and take this leaflet
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
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
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
at 5/96. Please acknowledge the source as HSE.
MS(A)21 5/96 C60
Added to the web Site 8/7/98