An epidemic of urinary retention among workers in a polyurethane manufacturing plant was discovered in the spring of 1978. The most severely affected workers had neurogenic bladders confirmed by cystometrograms and mild sensory peripheral neuropathy. A survey of the plant disclosed increased incidence of urinary retention, muscle weakness, paresthesia, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction in exposed workers. A catalyst containing dimethylaminopropionitrile was identified as the probable causative agent, and after its removal no new cases occurred.
(JAMA 243:746-749, 1980)