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March 27, 2003

L&I warns of hazards in applying spray-on truck-bed linings

TUMWATER - The Department of Labor & Industries has issued a “Hazard Alert” to businesses that apply spray-on truck-bed linings. It alerts employers to potential worker health hazards from exposure to toxic compounds.

The compounds, known as isocyanates, are used to make urethane, polyurethane or polyurea coatings used in spray-on truck-bed liners.

L&I’s “Hazard Alert” follows recent workplace safety and health inspections that found workers exposed to isocyanates above allowed limits while spraying on truck-bed liners. Also, there have been workers’ compensation claims involving asthma among workers in that industry.

An estimated 200 businesses in Washington are involved in spraying on truck-bed liners. Most of them are in the Puget Sound region, but some are also in Southwest and Eastern Washington. Spray-on truck-bed lining is a newer industry that has expanded rapidly in the past five years.

Free L&I consultation services are available to measure isocyanate exposure and discuss preventative and protective measures. Also, the agency is conducting targeted inspections in the spray-on truck-bed industry that potentially could result in fines.

More information is available at www.LNI.wa.gov/wisha/ or by calling 800-4BE-SAFE. To receive a copy of the Spray-on Urethane Truck Bed Linings and Isocyanate Exposures Hazard Alert, call 360-902-5452.

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For media information: Elaine Fischer, L&I Public Affairs, 360-902-5414 or nele235@LNI.wa.gov.

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