Results show that approximately 24,000 Canadians are exposed to toluene diisocyanates (TDI) in their workplaces; 75% of these workers are male. Occupations with the greatest number of exposed workers are machine operators and labourers in plastics and rubber industry, automotive service technicians, and auto body repair workers.
When exposure is examined by industry, the largest exposed groups are plastic product manufacturing (7,400 exposed), automotive repair and maintenance (3,100 exposed), motor vehicle parts manufacturing (1,900 exposed) and household and institutional furniture and cabinet making (1,500 exposed).
Data Sources & Methods
Data used in developing the occupational estimates for toluene diisocyanates (TDI) were collected from several sources:
- The Canadian Workplace Exposure Database (CWED) contains approximately 3,000 measurements for TDI exposure. These measurements were collected during the years 1981 to 2004 in Ontario and British Columbia workplaces.
- Canadian and US scientific peer reviewed publications that addressed TDI exposure in Canada and the United States.
- Grey literature including technical reports from governments and international bodies.
Prevalence Estimate Method
CAREX defines exposure to TDI as inhalation or dermal exposure above levels that are generally encountered in the environment.
To determine the number of workers potentially exposed to TDI at work, CAREX occupational exposure experts used methods previously established in other peer-reviewed CAREX projects in Europe. A series of steps were taken to assign exposure proportions to occupations and industries at risk of exposure to TDI.
- Occupations and industries at risk of possible exposure to TDI were identified using any combination of data sources described above.
- The total number of workers in each identified occupation and industry intersection was obtained from Statistics Canada 2006 census data.
- A percentage of workers exposed was assigned to that occupation and industry intersection. Percentages were determined by consultation with existing evidence in the data sources, previously established methods from the Europe CAREX estimates and the expert judgement of CAREX occupational hygienists.
- The number of workers in the identified group is multiplied by the assigned percentage to calculate the prevalence estimate of workers exposed to TDI.