• Nanorurki weglowe - charakterystyka substancji, dzialanie biologiczne i dopuszczalne poziomy narazenia zawodowego.

      Swidwińska-Gajewska, Anna Maria; Czerczak, Slawomir; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (2017-03-24)
      Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are a diverse group of nano-objects in terms of structure, size (length, diameter), shape and characteristics. The growing interest in these structures is due to the increasing number of people working in exposure to CNTs. Occupational exposure to carbon nanotubes may occur in research laboratories, as well as in plants producing CNTs and their nanocomposites. Carbon nanotubes concentration at the emission source may reach 107 particles/cm3. These values, however, are considerably reduced after the application of adequate ventilation. Animal studies suggest that the main route of exposure is inhalation. Carbon nanotubes administered orally are largely excreted in the feces. In animals exposed by inhalation, CNTs caused mainly inflammation, as a result of oxidative stress, leading above all to changes in the lungs. The main effect of animal dermal exposure is oxidative stress causing local inflammation. In animals exposed by ingestion the mild or no toxicity was observed. Carbon nanotubes did not induce mutations in the bacterial tests, but they were genotoxic in a series of tests on cells in vitro, as well as in exposed mice in vivo. Embryotoxicity of nanotubes depends mainly on their modifications and carcinogenicity - primarily on the CNT size and its rigidity. Occupational exposure limits for CNTs proposed by world experts fall within the range of 1-80 μg/m3. The different effects of various kinds of CNT, leads to the conclusion that each type of nanotube should be treated as a separate substance with individual estimation of hygienic normative. Med Pr 2017;68(2):259-276.
    • Nanosilver – Occupational exposure limits

      Swidwinska-Gajewska, Anna; Czerczak, Slawomir; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (2015)
      Historically, nanosilver has been known as colloidal silver composed of particles with a size below 100 nm. Silver nanoparticles are used in many technologies, creating a wide range of products. Due to antibacterial properties nanosilver is used, among others, in medical devices (wound dressings), textiles (sport clothes, socks), plastics and building materials (paints). Colloidal silver is considered by many as an ideal agent in the fight against pathogenic microorganisms, unlike antibiotics, without side effects. However, in light of toxicological research, nanosilver is not inert to the body. The inhalation of silver nanoparticles have an adverse effect mainly on the liver and lung of rats. The oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species is responsible for the toxicity of nanoparticles, contributing to cytotoxic and genotoxic effects. The activity of the readily oxidized nanosilver surface underlies the molecular mechanism of toxicity. This leads to the release of silver ions, a known harmful agent. Occupational exposure to silver nanoparticles may occur in the process of its manufacture, formulation and also usage during spraying, in particular. In Poland, as well as in other countries of the world, there is no separate hygiene standards applicable to nanomaterials. The present study attempts to estimate the value of MAC-TWA (maximum admissible concentration – the time-weighted average) for silver – a nano-objects fraction, which amounted to 0.01 mg/m3. The authors are of the opinion that the current value of the MAC-TWA for silver metallic – inhalable fraction (0.05 mg/m3) does not provide sufficient protection against the harmful effects of silver in the form of nano-objects.
    • Nanozloto - dzialanie biologiczne i dopuszczalne poziomy narazenia zawodowego.

      Swidwinska-Gajewska, Anna Maria; Czerczak, Sławomir; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (2017-06-27)
      Nanogold has different properties and biological activity compared to metallic gold. It can be applied in many fields, such as medicine, laboratory diagnostics and electronics. Studies on laboratory animals show that nanogold can be absorbed by inhalation and ingestion. It can penetrate deep into the epidermis and dermis, but there is no evidence that it is absorbed through the skin. Gold nanoobjects accumulate mainly in the liver and spleen, but they can also reach other internal organs. Nanogold can cross the blood-brain and blood-placenta barriers. Toxicokinetics of nanogold depends on the particle size, shape and surface charge. In animals exposure to gold nanoparticles via inhalation induces slight changes in the lungs. Exposure to nanogold by the oral route does not cause adverse health effects in rodents. In animals after injection of gold nanoobjects changes in the liver and lungs were observed. Nanogold induced genotoxic effects in cells, but not in animals. No adverse effects on the fetus or reproduction were found. There are no carcinogenicity studies on gold nanoparticles. The mechanism of toxicity may be related to the interaction of gold nanoobjects with proteins and DNA, and it leads to the induction of oxidative stress and genetic material damage. The impact of nanostructures on human health has not yet been fully understood. The person, who works with nanomaterials should exercise extreme caution and apply existing recommendations on the evaluation of nanoobjects exposure. The risk assessment should be the basis for taking appropriate measures to limit potential exposure to nanometals, including nanogold. Med Pr 2017;68(4):545-556.
    • Neurological symptoms and syndromes in municipal transport drivers

      Sinczuk-Walczak, Halina; Siedlecka, Jadwiga; Szymczak, Wiesław; Gadzicka, Elzbieta; Walczak, Agata; Kowalczyk, Grazyna; Dania, Marta; Bortkiewicz, Alicja; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland; University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland; Medical University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland (2015)
      Background: The way the municipal transport drivers perform their job contributes to varied burdens linked with the body posture at work, stress, shift work, vibration, noise and exposure to chemical agents. The aim of the study was to assess the condition of the nervous system (NS) in municipal transport drivers. Material and Methods: The study covered 42 men, aged 43.4 years (standard deviation (SD): 8.3), employed as bus drivers in the municipal transport enterprise. The duration of employment was 11.8 years on average (SD: 8.6). The condition of the nervous system was assessed on the basis of clinical neurological examinations. Results: Chronic lumbosacral syndrome was found in 54.8% of the subjects. A significant relationship between the incidence of lumbosacral syndrome and the duration of employment (p = 0.032) was observed; significantly higher in drivers employed for 11–15 years (90.9%) in comparison to the remaining groups. Nervous system functional disorders were characterized by the increased emotional irritability (47.6%), sleep disorders manifested by excessive sleepiness (33.3%) or insomnia (28.6%) and headaches (3%), mostly tension headaches. Excessive daytime sleepiness was significantly age-dependent (p = 0.038). Conclusions: The evidenced NS disorders indicate the need to undertake preventive measures tailored for the occupational group of bus drivers.
    • New sector of employment – a review of data on nanoproduction, research and development in the field of nanotechnology in Poland

      Poplawska, Magdalena; Mikolajczyk, Urszula; Bujak-Pietrek, Stella; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (2015)
      Nanotechnologia to obecnie jedna z najprężniej rozwijających się dziedzin nauki, dotycząca projektowania, wytwarzania i wykorzystania nanomateriałów. Przez pojęcie ‘nanomateriał’ rozumie się produkt zbudowany ze struktur o wymiarach nanometrowych (1–100 nm). Ze względu na niewielkie wymiary oraz unikatowe właściwości zastosowanie nanomateriałów budzi coraz większe zainteresowanie w różnych dziedzinach przemysłu i nauki. W Polsce istnieje niewiele przedsiębiorstw zajmujących się działalnością nanotechnologiczną. Dominują w tym obszarze głównie jednostki naukowe (m.in. instytuty badawcze, uczelnie wyższe czy jednostki naukowe Polskiej Akademii Nauk).
    • Night shift work and obesity.

      Peplonska Beata; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (2015)
    • Night shift work and osteoporosis: evidence and hypothesis.

      Bukowska-Damska, Agnieszka; Skowronska-Jozwiak, Elzbieta; Peplonska, Beata; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (2019-02-01)
      Osteoporosis is an important public health problem worldwide. Among the countries with a very high population risk of fractures, there are those with the highest level of economic development. Osteoporotic fractures are the main cause of disability among elderly people, and the resultant disabilities require particularly large financial support associated not only with the direct treatment of the fracture but also with the necessity for long-term rehabilitation and care for the disabled person. Many well-established factors can have impact on bone mass and fracture risk. Recently, it has been hypothesized that working during nighttime which leads to endocrine disorders may have an indirect impact on bone physiology among night shift workers. Therefore, it can be presumed that the night shift work may contribute to the etiology of osteoporosis. The aim of our work was to make a review of the epidemiological evidence on the association between night shift work and bone mineral density or fracture risk as well as to discuss the potential biological mechanisms linking the work under this system with the development of osteoporosis. We have identified only four studies investigating the association between system of work and bone mineral density or fracture risk among workers. The findings of three out of four studies support the hypothesis. None of the studies has investigated a potential relationship between night shift work and bone turnover markers. Given that there have been no epidemiological studies in European countries that would concern working populations and the noticeable difference in the risk of osteoporosis between communities, further studies are warranted to elucidate the problem. It is presumed that further in-depth studies will not only identify the underlying factors of the disease but also contribute to developing guidelines for policy makers and employers for primary prevention of osteoporosis in workplace.
    • Noise exposure and hearing status among call center operators.

      Pawlaczyk-Luszczynska, Malgorzata; Dudarewicz, Adam; Zamojska-Daniszewska, Małgorzata; Zaborowski, Kamil; Rutkowska-Kaczmarek, Paulina; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine
      The overall objective of the study was to assess noise exposure and audiometric hearing threshold levels (HTLs) in call center operators. Standard pure-tone audiometry and extended high-frequency audiometry were performed in 78 participants, aged 19 to 44 years (mean ± standard deviation: 28.1 ± 6.3 years), employed up to 12 years (2.7 ± 2.9 years) at one call center. All participants were also inquired about their communication headset usage habits, hearing-related symptoms, and risk factors for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Noise exposure under headsets was evaluated using the microphone in a real ear technique as specified by ISO 11904-1:2002. The background noise prevailing in offices was also measured according to ISO 9612:2009. A personal daily noise exposure level calculated by combining headset and nonheadset work activities ranged from 68 to 79 dBA (74.7 ± 2.5 dBA). Majority (92.3%) of study participants had normal hearing in both ears (mean HTL in the frequency range of 0.25-8 kHz ≤20 dB HL). However, their HTLs in the frequency range of 0.25 to 8 kHz were worse than the expected median values for equivalent highly screened otologically normal population, whereas above 8 kHz were comparable (9-11.2 kHz) or better (12.5 kHz). High-frequency hearing loss (mean HTLs at 3, 4, and 6 kHz >20 dB HL) and speech-frequency hearing loss (mean HTLs at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz >20 dB HL) were noted in 8.3% and 6.4% of ears, respectively. High-frequency notches were found in 15.4% of analyzed audiograms. Moreover, some of call center operators reported hearing-related symptoms. Further studies are needed before firm conclusions concerning the risk of NIHL in this professional group can be drawn.
    • [Non-occupational but work-related diseases - Legislation, judicature and potential implications to employers and employees in Poland].

      Marcinkiewicz, Andrzej; Tomczak, Paulina; Wiszniewska, Marta; Walusiak-Skorupa, Jolanta; Dorre-Kolasa, Dominika; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (2018-10-30)
      Non-occupational work-related diseases refer to health problems of multifactorial etiology, the occurrence, development and prognosis of which may be affected by work environment or by the way the work is performed but are not treated as occupational diseases under the applicable law. When analyzing their impact on labor market, it is necessary to also consider the employees' right to put in a claim for compensation due to the consequences of the occurrence of such diseases. Legal regulations as well as judicial decisions on the possibilities and methods of pursuing claims for compensation from an employer due to the occurrence of non-occupational work-related disease were analyzed. The analyzed legal regulations and judicial decisions referred to the regulations of the Labour Code, Civil Code and Resolution of the Supreme Court of 4 December 1987. The paper presents examples of non-occupational diseases considered to be work-related and conditions necessary to assert a claim by the employee at the court. Despite the lack of precise legal regulations in Poland, non-occupational work-related diseases may impact the legal situation of employees as well as employers. Employees are granted the right to claim for compensation from their employers in accordance with the Civil Code. Depending on the employer's legal responsibility, it is necessary to prove the meeting of the appropriate essential conditions to put in a claim for damage. Raising the employers' awareness of the legal and financial consequences shall support the occupational medicine services in intensifying their activity aimed at preventing all work-related diseases. Med Pr 2018;69(5):539-546.
    • Obesity, metabolic factors and risk of different histological types of lung cancer: A Mendelian randomization study.

      Carreras-Torres, Robert; Johansson, Mattias; Haycock, Philip C; Wade, Kaitlin H; Relton, Caroline L; Martin, Richard M; Davey Smith, George; Albanes, Demetrius; Aldrich, Melinda C; Andrew, Angeline; et al. (2017)
      Assessing the relationship between lung cancer and metabolic conditions is challenging because of the confounding effect of tobacco. Mendelian randomization (MR), or the use of genetic instrumental variables to assess causality, may help to identify the metabolic drivers of lung cancer.
    • Occupational cancers - Epidemiology and certification.

      Wiszniewska, Marta; Lipińska-Ojrzanowska, Agnieszka; Witkowska, Anna; Tymoszuk, Diana; Kleniewska, Aneta; Kluszczyński, Dariusz; Walusiak-Skorupa, Jolanta; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (2017-12-05)
      The etiology of cancer is multifactorial. Malignant tumors caused by factors occurring in the work environment, classified as carcinogenic in humans, can be recognized as an occupational disease. Analysis of epidemiological data indicates a significant underestimation of occupational cancer, mainly due to long latency period of these diseases. This publication provides guidance to certify occupational etiology of malignant tumors, based on the reviews of existing legislation and medical literature, as well as on the experience of their authors. The publication presents the epidemiology of cancers, including occupational cancers, risk factors, occupational carcinogens and presents the principles of occupational cancer certification. Med Pr 2018;69(1):93-108.
    • Occupational diseases among farmers in Poland

      Szeszenia-Dabrowska, Neonila; Swiatkowska, Beata; Wilczynska, Urszula; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (2016)
      Background: The study’s objective is to present epidemiological situation concerning the incidence of occupational diseases among farmers in Poland. Material and Methods: All 3438 cases of occupational diseases diagnosed among farmers and obligatorily reported to the Central Register of Occupational Diseases (covering all the national territory and all the cases of occupational diseases diagnosed in Poland after 1970) over the years 2000–2014 were subjected to analysis. Results: The annual incidence in the analyzed period ranged 5–14 per 100 000 farmers. The analysis showed that about 90% of pathologies were induced by the biological agents. Almost every third pathology due to biological agents had allergic origin. Infectious and parasitic diseases accounted for 62% of the cases. Among them the diseases carried by ticks (93%) – borreliosis (85.8%) and tick-borne encephalitis (7.2%) were the most frequent ones. The age of farmers, in the case of whom bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis were diagnosed, was significantly higher than the age of remaining employees of the national economy, in which these occupational diseases were recognized. Conclusions: The study indicates the necessity to introduce periodic health examinations programs focusing on agricultural workers to monitor health and well-being and improve working conditions and the working environment.
    • [Occupational diseases among healthcare and social workers in 2009-2016].

      Świątkowska, Beata; Hanke, Wojciech; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (2018-10-30)
      The aim of the paper is to present statistical data on the occurrence of occupational diseases among healthcare and social workers in Poland in 2009-2016. All cards certifying that a case of occupational disease had been diagnosed in a patient belonging to this occupational group, received by the Central Register of Occupational Diseases, served as the basis of the study. Data is presented in absolute numbers and incidence rates. In the analysis, disease categories, voivodships and occupations were taken into account. In 2009-2016, as many as 1462 cases of occupational diseases were diagnosed for healthcare workers. In 2016, the number of cases was 42.6% lower than in 2009. Mean annual incidence rate in these years was 26.3 cases per 100 thousand workers. The most frequent were: infectious and parasitic diseases (64.8% of cases), peripheral nervous system diseases (9.6%), dermal diseases (8.9%), locomotor (8.3%), and chronic vocal organ disorders (3.2%). Among infectious or parasitic diseases, the most cases were viral hepatitis (56%) and tuberculosis (39%). Almost every second case of occupational disease in healthcare workers was detected in the nurses (47.8%). The incidence of occupational diseases in total and in the most frequent categories continued to decrease. One of the reasons for the decline is the improvement of working conditions resulting from the application of more modern instruments and apparatus as well as greater knowledge of the risks and the use of appropriate procedures. Med Pr 2018;69(5).
    • [Occupational diseases in Poland in 2016].

      Świątkowska, Beata; Hanke, Wojciech; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (2018-12-18)
      The aim of the work is to present the epidemiological situation in the field of occupational diseases in Poland in 2016. The cases of occupational diseases identified in accordance with the applicable case law system in Poland and reported to the Central Register of Occupational Diseases in 2016 were analyzed. The analysis includes nosologic units, their causative factors as well as gender and age of patients. Absolute numbers and incidence rates per 100 000 employees were presented. In 2016, 2119 cases of occupational diseases were recorded in Poland, i.e. 14.3 cases per 100 000 employed persons. The incidence rate was mainly caused by pneumoconioses (28.5%), infectious or parasitic diseases (27.2%), chronic voice disorders (9.7%), chronic diseases of the peripheral nervous system (8.6%) and hearing loss (6.3%). The highest incidence was recorded in the mining and quarrying (329.7 cases), agriculture and forestry (23.8 cases), manufacturing (20 cases) and education (17.9 cases) and healthcare and social work activities (17.7 cases). In comparison with 2015, there was an increase in the number of cases of occupational diseases by 1.2%, which was influenced mainly by a larger (by 181 cases) number of pneumoconiosis. The epidemiological situation resulting from occupational diseases in our country, although it covers all identified cases, should be assessed with caution because the suspicion arises underestimation of certain diseases, especially cancer. Med Pr 2018;69(6):643-650.
    • [Occupational exposure to biological agents intentionally used in Polish enterprises].

      Kozajda, Anna; Szadkowska-Stanczyk, Irena; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (2015)
      The paper presents the intentional use of biological agents for industrial, diagnostic and research purposes in Polish enterprises.
    • Occupational exposure to chromium(VI) compounds

      Skowron, Jolanta; Konieczko, Katarzyna; Central Institute for Labour Protection – National Research Institute, Warszawa, Poland; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (2015)
      This article discusses the effect of chromium(VI) (Cr(VI)) on human health under conditions of acute and chronic exposure in the workplace. Chromium(VI) compounds as carcinogens and/or mutagens pose a direct danger to people exposed to them. If carcinogens cannot be eliminated from the work and living environments, their exposure should be reduced to a minimum. In the European Union the proposed binding occupational exposure limit value (BOELV) for chromium(VI) of 0.025 mg/m³ is still associated with high cancer risk. Based on the Scientific Commitee of Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) document chromium(VI) concentrations at 0.025 mg/m³ increases the risk of lung cancer in 2–14 cases per 1000 exposed workers. Exposure to chromium(VI) compounds expressed in Cr(VI) of 0.01 mg Cr(VI)/m3 is responsible for the increased number of lung cancer cases in 1–6 per 1000 people employed in this condition for the whole period of professional activity.
    • Occupational exposure to diisocyanates in polyurethane foam factory workers

      Swierczynska-Machura, Dominika; Brzeznicki, Slawomir; Nowakowska-Swirta, Ewa; Walusiak-Skorupa, Jolanta; Wittczak, Tomasz; Dudek, Wojciech; Bonczarowska, Marzena; Wesolowski, Wiktor; Czerczak, Slawomir; Palczynski, Cezary; et al. (2015)
      Objectives: The aim of the study was to evaluate health effects of occupational exposure to diisocyanates (DIC) among polyurethane foam products factory workers. Material and Methods: Thirty workers had a physical examination, skin prick tests with common allergens, allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to diisocyanates and pulmonary function tests. Concentrations of selected isocyanates in the workplace air samples as well as concentration of their metabolites in the urine samples collected from the workers of the plant were determined. Results: The most frequent work-related symptoms reported by the examined subjects were rhinitis and skin symptoms. Sensitization to at least 1 common allergen was noted in 26.7% of the subjects. Spirometry changes of bronchial obstruction of a mild degree was observed in 5 workers. The specific IgE antibodies to toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and 4,4’-methylenebis(phenyl isocyanate) (MDI) were not detected in any of the patients’ serum. Cellular profiles of the collected induced sputum (ISP) did not reveal any abnormalities. Air concentrations of TDI isomers ranged 0.2–58.9 μg/m3 and in 7 cases they exceeded the Combined Exposure Index (CEI) value for those compounds. Concentrations of TDI metabolites in post-shift urine samples were significantly higher than in the case of pre-shift urine samples and in 6 cases they exceeded the British Biological Monitoring Guidance Value (BMGV – 1 μmol amine/mol creatinine). We didn’t find a correlation between urinary concentrations of TDI, concentrations in the air and concentrations of toluenediamine (TDA) in the post shift urine samples. Lack of such a correlation may be an effect of the respiratory protective equipment use. Conclusions: Determination of specific IgE in serum is not sensitive enough to serve as a biomarker. Estimation of concentrations of diisocyanate metabolites in urine samples and the presence of work-related allergic symptoms seem to be an adequate method for occupational exposure monitoring of DIC, which may help to determine workers at risk as well as to recognize hazardous workplaces.
    • Occupational exposure to ionizing radiation and lens opacity in interventional cardiologists.

      Domienik-Andrzejewska, Joanna; Kałużny, Paweł; Piernik, Gabriela; Jurewicz, Joanna; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (2019-10-16)
      Objectives: Interventional cardiologists (ICs) are occupationally exposed to low or moderate doses of ionizing radiation from repeated exposures. It is not clear whether these occupational conditions may affect their eye lens. Therefore, the risk of radiation-induced cataract in the cohort of Polish interventional cardiologists is analyzed in this paper. Material and Methods: The study group consisted of 69 interventional cardiologists and 78 control individuals occupationally unexposed to ionizing radiation. The eye lens opacities were examined using a slit camera and evaluated with Lens Opacities Grading System III. Cumulative eye lens doses were estimated retrospectively using a questionnaire including data on occupational history. Results: The average cumulative dose to the left and right eye lens of the ICs was 224 mSv and 85 mSv, respectively. Nuclear opalescence and nuclear color opacities in the most exposed left eye were found in 38% of the ICS for both types, and in 47% and 42% of the controls, respectively. Cortical opacities were found in 25% of the ICS and 29% of the controls. Posterior subcapsular opacities were rare: about 7% in the ICs group and 6% in the control group. Overall, there was some, but statistically insignificant, increase in the risk for opacity in the ICs group, relative to the control group, after adjusting for the subjects’ age, gender, smoking status and medical exposure (adjusted OR = 1.47, 95% CI: 0.62–3.59 for the pooled “any-eye any-type” opacity). There was also no evidence for an increased opacity risk with an increase in the dose. Conclusions: The study found no statistically significant evidence against the hypothesis that the risk of cataract in the group of the ICs occupationally exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation is the same as in the control group. Nevertheless, the adverse effect of ionizing radiation still cannot be excluded due to a relatively small study sample size
    • Occupational exposure to radon for underground tourist routes in Poland: Doses to lung and the risk of developing lung cancer.

      Walczak, Katarzyna; Olszewski, Jerzy; Politanski, Piotr; Zmyslony, Marek; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (2017-07-14)
      Radon concentrations for 31 Polish underground tourist routes were analyzed. The equivalent dose to the lung, the effective dose and the relative risk were calculated for employees of the analyzed routes on the grounds of information on radon concentrations, work time, etc.
    • Occupational exposure to selected isocyanates in Polish industry

      Brzeznicki, Slawomir; Bonczarowska, Marzena; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (2015)
      Isocyanates constitute a group of highly reactive, low molecular weight chemicals used worldwide for polyurethane manufacturing. The occupational exposure to these compounds is a major cause of occupational asthma, thus it is very important to monitor their concentration in the workplace atmosphere. The aim of the study was to measure the concentration of 4,4’-methylenediphenyl diisocyanate (MDI; CAS 101-68-8), toluene-2,4-di-isocyanate (2,4-TDI; CAS 584-84-9), toluene-2,6-di-isocyanate (2,6-TDI; CAS 91-08-7) and hexamethylene di-isocyanate (HDI; CAS 822-06-0) in the work environment for evaluation of the occupational exposure to these compounds. Material and Methods: Determination of concentrations of selected isocyanates was carried out in 21 manufacturing plants, during different industrial processes. The collected air samples (personal samples) were analyzed by means of the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Results: The presented results represent the 1st data on the occupational exposure to isocyanates in Poland. This set of data is generally indicative of concentrations of analyzed isocyanates that are low and do not exceed the maximum admissible concentration (MAC) values in Poland. Elevated concentrations (above the MAC value) were found only for the TDI in the course of manufacturing of polyurethane foam blocks. Conclusions: Results of many studies show that low concentrations of isocyanates (particularly of low volatility like for example MDI) in the air cannot exclude the possibility of additional absorption of these compounds through skin. Taking into consideration all the uncertainties associated with the evaluation of the risk of exposure to isocyanates based solely on measurement of their levels in the air, it would seem that the simultaneous application of environmental and biological monitoring would only facilitate a reliable assessment of the occupational exposure risk.