As with all chemicals, precautions are in place to help protect the persons handling methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI) during production, transportation, or processing of the chemical. The following offers resources developed to provide information on handling, storing and transporting MDI and TDI, including their use in making polyurethane foams. There are also helpful resources for the transportation of chemicals in general.
Material Safe Handling Guidance
The Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) has developed a number of documents to assist with the safe handling and storage of TDI, MDI, and related polyurethane materials, including:
- Working with MDI and Polymeric MDI: What You Should Know
An easy-to-read, 6-page brochure which describes health effects, first-aid tips, and safe practices when handling MDI or Polymeric MDI. (AX-205, 2012) | (Spanish)
- Working with TDI: What You Should Know
An easy-to-read, 6-page brochure which describes health effects, first-aid tips, and safe practices when handling TDI. (AX-202, 2012) | (Spanish)
- Guidance for Melting 4,4'-Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanates (MDI) in Drums
This document provides general guidance on melting frozen or fused MDI. (AX-363, 2012) | (Spanish)
- Guidance for Melting Toluene Diisocyanates (TDI) in Drums
This document provides information that is intended to provide general guidance on melting frozen or fused TDI. (AX-364, 2012) | (Spanish)
- Guidelines for the Responsible Disposal of Wastes and Containers from Polyurethane Processing
This technical bulletin is designed to help processors of polyurethane chemicals manage waste chemicals and empty containers in a responsible manner that complies with federal and state regulations. In particular, this bulletin focuses on chemicals used in polyurethane processing operations that may be regulated as hazardous waste. (AX-151, 2018)
- Equipment Guidelines for Diisocyanate Storage Tanks
This Technical Bulletin is intended to provide guidelines for describing various equipment options for storage tank systems intended for diisocyanate product service. The Bulletin includes a reference table of equipment options, which is supplemented by additional text. (AX-365, 2018) | (Spanish)
NIOSH Pocket Guide
CPI has developed information about the safe transportation of TDI and MDI, including:
- Guidelines for Receiving and Unloading TDI
This 38-page technical guideline provides basic principles to users receiving, unloading and handling TDI and/or various grades. (AX-188, 2014) | (Spanish) | (French)
- Guidelines for Receiving and Unloading MDI
This 39-page technical guideline provides basic principles to users receiving, unloading and handling MDI and/or various grades. (AX-198, 2014) | (Spanish) | (French)
- Transloading Polymeric Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanates (PMDI)
These guidelines have been developed to describe various options for transloading PMDI from rail tank cars to cargo tank trailers. (AX-409, July 2015)
Other Transportation Resources:
- The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), within the United States Department of Transportation, regulates and oversees the safe movement of hazardous materials.
- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is an international trade body that represents some 300 airlines comprising 83 percent of total air traffic.
- The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
- Transport Canada, provides oversight and gives expert advice on dangerous goods accidents to promote public safety in the transportation of dangerous goods by all modes of transport in Canada. Visit Transport Canada for information about regulations for the transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) and more.
- The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) administers regional agreements that ensure the effective implementation of these mechanisms as far as transport of dangerous goods (TDG) by road, rail and inland waterways is concerned.