High levels of isocyanic acid in smoke generated during hot iron cauterization

Per Leanderson, Blerim Krapi
2019 Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health  
Pyrolysis of nitrogen containing biofuels generates isocyanic acid (ICA) and we here studied if ICA also is present in cauterization smoke. Air sampling was performed when animal technicians that had developed airway symptoms worked with dehorning. Tissue heated in a laboratory model was used to mimic cauterization. ICA in air at the workplace exceeded 10 times the national exposure limit. In the laboratory, the ICA generated per mg tissue from heated hair, horn and nail was 13.9 ± 7.8, 24.0 ±
more » ... .1 and 32.0 ± 2.9 µg, respectively. Three workers were medically examined and two were diagnosed with asthma and a third had severe airway problem that resembled asthma. The study shows that high levels of ICA are generated during cauterization of nitrogen-containing tissue. If this could trigger airway symptoms deserves to be investigated further.
doi:10.1080/19338244.2019.1593920 pmid:31070514 fatcat:wghdjdup3rau5n25bxtheptgqi