Assessment of dermal uptake of diphenylmethane-4,4′-diisocyanate using tape stripping and biological monitoring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Very little is known about the dermal uptake of isocyanates, and dermal exposure to isocyanates has been discussed as a factor involved in the induction of respiratory diseases. Objectives: To investigate the dermal uptake of diphenylmethane-4,4’-diisocyanate (4,4’-MDI). Materials & Methods: Four volunteers were dermally exposed to 10, 25, 49 and 50 mg 4,4’-MDI, respectively, for eight hours. The exposed areas were tape stripped. Urine and blood were biologically monitored for 48 hours. Tape strips, plasma, and urine were analysed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results: In total, 35-70% of the applied dose of 4,4’-MDI was absorbed by the skin. Very low fractions of applied dose were found in the tape strips. The 4,4’-MDA concentration in plasma and urine was low, but peaked in urine at 10-14 hours and plasma at 8-32 hours after exposure. Conclusions: 4,4’-MDI is readily absorbed by human skin. Only small fractions of 4,4’-MDI remain as such in the superficial skin layers. The amounts found in blood and urine were only small fractions of the total applied doses which indicates that very small amounts of 4,4’-MDI penetrate the skin and reach the blood stream. The dermal uptake and distribution of 4,4’-MDI is much slower compared to that associated with airway uptake. Our data strongly indicate that formation of 4,4’-MDA from 4,4’-MDI upon reacting with water in the skin can only occur to a very limited extent. © 2018, John Libbey Eurotext.


External organisations
  • Umeå University
  • Örebro University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Dermatology and Venereal Diseases
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalEJD. European Journal of Dermatology
Issue number2
Early online date2018 Apr 5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch

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