Flammability and Explosibility

TDI is a combustible liquid (NFPA rating = 1). Explosive limits in air are 0.9 to 9.5% by volume. Carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers should be used for TDI fires.

Reactivity and Incompatibility

Contact with strong oxidizers may cause fires and explosions. Contact with water, acids, bases, and amines can lead to reactions that liberate heat and CO2 and cause violent foaming and spattering. TDI will attack some forms of plastic, rubber, and coatings.

Storage and Handling

Because of its high toxicity, carcinogenicity, and ability to cause sensitization, toluene diisocyanate should be handled using the "basic prudent practices" of Chapter 5.C, supplemented by the additional precautions for work with compounds of high toxicity (Chapter 5.D). In particular, work with TDI should be conducted in a fume hood to prevent exposure by inhalation, and splash goggles and impermeable gloves should be worn at all times to prevent eye and skin contact.


In the event of skin contact, immediately wash with soap and water and remove contaminated clothing. In case of eye contact, promptly wash with copious amounts of water for 15 min (lifting upper and lower lids occasionally) and obtain medical attention. If TDI is ingested, obtain medical attention immediately. If large amounts of this compound are inhaled, move the person to fresh air and seek medical attention at once.

In the event of a spill, remove all ignition sources, soak up the TDI with a spill pillow or absorbent material, place in an appropriate container, and dispose of properly. Respiratory protection may be necessary in the event of a large spill or release in a confined area.


Excess TDI and waste material containing this substance should be placed in an appropriate container, clearly labeled, and handled according to your institution's waste disposal guidelines. For more information on disposal procedures, see Chapter 7 of this volume.

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