Mortality study of workers exposed to styrene in the reinforced plastic boat building industry.
Okun-AH; Beaumont-JJ; Meinhardt-TJ; Crandall-MS
A cohort mortality study on the effects of occupational exposure to styrene (100425) was conducted at two reinforced plastic boat building facilities (SIC-3732). Subjects included in the cohort began working for the companies after December 31, 1958. In depth industrial hygiene surveys were conducted at the facilities to determine styrene exposure. Personnel records were examined. Deaths that occurred within the cohort were identified, and causes of death were determined. The mean concentrations of styrene at companies 1 and 2 were 42.5 and 71.7 parts per million (ppm), respectively, for high exposure positions. Significant acetone (67641) exposures were found, ranging from 17.0 to 252ppm at Company 1 and 8.2 to 396ppm at Company 2. The completed cohort consisted of 5201 subjects; of these, 2060 were classified as having high exposures to styrene. As of December 31, 1978, 176 workers were deceased, compared to 195.3 expected based on United States death rates. Deaths from all causes were elevated for the high styrene exposure group. When white males were considered separately, excesses became more apparent. The authors conclude that the study should be interpreted as non positive or inconclusive, rather than negative. The cohort should be reviewed from time to time.
NIOSH-Author; Case-studies; Occupational-exposure; Employee-exposure; Exposure-levels; Toxic-effects; Industrial-chemicals; Industrial-hazards;
NTIS Accession No.
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 60 pages, 57 references