Toxno Substance Profile
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Substance Name

Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate
Identification Number: CASRN | 101-68-8

  Substance Attributes


  • Carcinogenic Properties

    Accumulating evidence points to cancer potential. Exercise caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.


    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

  • Toxic to specific organs

    Can damage liver, kidney, lungs, heart or gut. Ironically liver, kidneys and gut are the main detoxifications systems.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Household Toxin | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Pollutant | Airborne Pollutant | Synthetic Toxin | Indirect Additives Used in Food Contact Substances | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Benzenoids | Benzene and Substituted Derivatives | Diphenylmethanes | Diphenylmethanes
  • SYNONYMS: 1,1'-methylenebis(4-isocyanatobenzene) | 1,1-methylenebis(phenyl)diisocyanate | 1,1-Methylenebis4-isocyanatobenzene | 1-Isocyanato-4-(4-isocyanatobenzyl)benzene | 4 | 4'-Diisocyanatodiphenylmethane | 4 | 4'-Methylenedi-p-phenylene diisocyanate | 4,4'-,2,4'-,2,2'-Diisocyanatodiphenylmethane | 4,4'-Diisocyanate de diphenylmethane | 4,4'-Diisocyanatodiphenylmethane | 4,4'-Diphenylmethane Diisocyanate | 4,4'-Diphenylmethanediisocyante | 4,4'-methylene bisphenyl diisocyanate | 4,4'-Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate | 4,4'-Methylenebis(phenyl isocyanate) | 4,4'-methylenebis(phenylisocyanate) | 4,4'-Methylenebis[phenyl isocyanate] | 4,4'-Methylenedi(phenyl diisocyanate) | 4,4'-Methylenedi(phenyl isocyanate) | 4,4'-Methylenedi(phenylene isocyanate) | 4,4'-Methylenedi-p-phenylene diisocyanate | 4,4'-methylenediphenyl diisocyanate | 4,4'-Methylenediphenyl isocyanate | 4,4'-Methylenediphenylene diisocyanate | 4,4'-Methylenediphenylene isocyanate | 4,4'-Methylenediphenylene isocyanateThiulin | 4,4-Diphenylmethane disocyanate | 4-4'-Diisocyanate de diphenylmethane | Benzene | {1,1'-methylenebis[4-isocyanato-} | Bis(1,4-isocyanatophenyl)methane | Bis(4-isocyanatophenyl)methane | Bis(p-isocyanatophenyl)methane | Bis(para-isocyanatophenyl)methane | Caradate 30 | Crude mdi | Desmodur 44 | Desmodur VKS-2 | VKS-4 | VKS-18 | Di-(4-isocyanatophenyl)methane | Difenil-metan-dIIsocianato | Difenylmethaan-dIIsocyanaat | Difenylmethaan-dissocyanaat | Diphenyl methane dIIsocyanate | Diphenylmethan-4,4'-diisocyanat | Diphenylmethane 4,4'-diisocyanate | Diphenylmethane 4,4-diisocyanate | Diphenylmethane dIIsocyanate | Diphenylmethane p,p'-dIIsocyanate | Diphenylmethane-4' | 4-diisocyanate | diphenylmethane-4,4'-diisocyanate | Diphenylmethyl dIIsocyanate | Diphenylmethyl dIIsocyanate methylene bisphenyl isocyanate | Generic mdi | Hylene M50 | iphenylmethane-4,4'-diisocyanate | Isocyanic acid | ester with diphenylmethane | Isocyanic acid | methylenedi-P-phenylene ester | Isocyanic acid | methylenediphenylene ester | Isonaphthol | Isonate | Isonate 125 MF | Isonate 125M | Isonate 2125M | MBI | MDI | MDR | Methylbisphenyl isocyanate | Methylene bisphenyl isocyanate | Methylene di(phenylene isocyanate) | Methylene di-p-phenylene isocyanate | Methylene diphenyl dIIsocyanate and polymeric methylene diphenyl dIIsocyanate | Methylene diphenyl diisocyanic acid | Methylenebis(4,4'-phenyl isocyanate) | Methylenebis(4-isocyanatobenzene) | Methylenebis(4-phenyl isocyanate) | Methylenebis(4-phenylene isocyanate) | Methylenebis(4-phenylisocyanate) | Methylenebis(p-phenyl isocyanate) | Methylenebis(p-phenylene isocyanate) | Methylenebis(p-phenylisocyanate) | Methylenebis(para-phenyl isocyanate) | Methylenebis(para-phenylene isocyanate) | Methylenebis(phenylisocyanate) | Methylenebisphenyl diisocyanate | Methylenebis[4-isocyanatobenzene] | Methylenebis[4-phenyl isocyanate] | Methylenebis[4-phenylene isocyanate] | Methylenebis[p-phenyl isocyanate] | Methylenebis[p-phenylene isocyanate] | Methylenedi(p-phenyl isocyanate) | Methylenedi(p-phenylene dIIsocyanate) | Methylenedi(p-phenylene isocyanate) | Methylenedi-p-phenyl dIIsocyanate | Methylenedi-p-phenylene dIIsocyanate | Methylenedi-para-phenylene dIIsocyanate | Methylenediphenyl dIIsocyanate | Nacconate 300 | Nocconate 300 | Non-isomeric-specific mdi | P,p'-diphenylmethane dIIsocyanate | P,p'-methylenebis(phenyl isocyanate) | P,p'-methylenebis[phenyl isocyanate] | Para,para'-diphenylmethane dIIsocyanate | Para,para'-methylenebis(phenyl isocyanate) | PMDI | Rubinate 44 | Rubinate LF-168
  • DESCRIPTION: Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, also know as MDI, is a chemical compound of cyanide and an aromatic diisocyanate. It is used in the manufacture of polyurethane and as an an industrial strength adhesive. (L576)
  • COMMENTS:

    From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia:

    Suspected of causing cancer. Harmful if inhaled. May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure. Causes serious eye irritation. May cause respiratory irritation. Causes skin irritation. May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled. May cause an allergic skin reaction | Chronic Health Hazard General Health Hazard | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace. Check with your employer or health and safety officer. Stay informed and become aware of the dangers that surround you. This chemical is included on the list of recognised hazardous chemicals from the Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) that is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

    Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations are the basis for hazardous chemicals regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia. Under the model WHS Regulations, manufacturers and importers of substances, mixtures and articles supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health and safety before supply. The model WHS Regulations mandate that the hazards of a chemical as determined by the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) must be included in safety data sheets and on labels. There are transitional arrangements in place for moving to the GHS-based system.

    The GHS Hazardous Chemical Information List contains chemicals classified by an authoritative source (such as the European Commission or NICNAS) in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (the GHS). This list contains the vast majority of chemicals currently in HSIS. This list and its detail are regularly updated by Work Safe Australia. The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations require chemicals to be classified in accordance with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). However transitional arrangements allow use of classification information in HSIS derived from the Approved Criteria until the 31 December 2016.
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C15H10N2O2
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | T3DB | PubChem | IARC | FDA Indirect Food Additives | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS)
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Cyanide poisoning is identified by rapid, deep breathing and shortness of breath, general weakness, giddiness, headaches, vertigo, confusion, convulsions/seizures and eventually loss of consciousness. (L96, L97)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Exposure to high levels of cyanide for a short time harms the brain and heart and can even cause coma, seizures, apnea, cardiac arrest and death. Chronic inhalation of cyanide causes breathing difficulties, chest pain, vomiting, blood changes, headaches, and enlargement of the thyroid gland. Skin contact with cyanide salts can irritate and produce sores. (L96, L97) | Cyanide is rapidly alsorbed through oral, inhalation, and dermal routes and distributed throughout the body. Cyanide is mainly metabolized into thiocyanate by either rhodanese or 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfur transferase. Cyanide metabolites are excreted in the urine. (L96)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Cyanide is an inhibitor of cytochrome c oxidase in the fourth complex of the electron transport chain (found in the membrane of the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells). It complexes with the ferric iron atom in this enzyme. The binding of cyanide to this cytochrome prevents transport of electrons from cytochrome c oxidase to oxygen. As a result, the electron transport chain is disrupted and the cell can no longer aerobically produce ATP for energy. Tissues that mainly depend on aerobic respiration, such as the central nervous system and the heart, are particularly affected. Cyanide is also known produce some of its toxic effects by binding to catalase, glutathione peroxidase, methemoglobin, hydroxocobalamin, phosphatase, tyrosinase, ascorbic acid oxidase, xanthine oxidase, succinic dehydrogenase, and Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase. Cyanide binds to the ferric ion of methemoglobin to form inactive cyanmethemoglobin. (L97) | Cyanide inhibits alkaline phosphatases. (A73)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Membrane"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate is used in the manufacture of polyurethane and as an an industrial strength adhesive. (L576)

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  Exposure Routes

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