CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Everybody calls it MOCA.
Nobody calls the curing agent frequently used in polyurethane products by its full name: 4,4'-methylene-bis (2-chloroailine).
Either way, it has been a thorn in the side of many urethane goods manufacturers for decades.
However, unlike in the past, mentioning its name today didn't seem to send shivers down the spines of most attendees at the annual Polyurethane Manufacturers Association meeting, held April 26-28 in Charlotte.
That's partly because a large number of current PMA conference attendees weren't around when the organization initially went to war against U.S. government agencies over the use of the curative in the early 1970s.
In 1973, MOCA was king. It was commonly used in many polyurethane products.
So PMA members were deeply troubled when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleged that the curative was unsafe and placed it on a list of chemicals that allegedly caused cancer.
A very small organization at the time, the newly formed PMA disagreed, maintaining it never caused cancer in humans.
Without the agent, a number of smaller cast urethane goods makers could go under, Jay Meili, a charter member of the association, maintained at the time.
The PMA took on OSHA, and later other government agencies, in long, drawn-out battles over the next two decades. The association emerged from the "70s MOCA war with a reputation “for actually being able to take on the government and protect the rights of our members from unreasonable regulation,” Walt Smith, another PMA charter member, said in a 2011 interview.