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Styrene vapor control systems in FRP yacht plants.
Am J Ind Med 1985 Sep; 8(3):219-232
Engineering controls for styrene (100425) vapor exposure in three fiber reinforced plastic yacht production facilities were investigated. Personal and area air samples were analyzed for styrene using gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector. Ventilation measurements were also made using a hot wire velometer. Factory 1 had a dilution ventilation system with ceiling air supply vents located in the center of the building and exhaust vents along the walls. Factory 2 located tilting hull molds over air slots in the floor which led to exhaust air fans outside the building. Factory 3 had immobile boat molds in 9 foot deep pits. A retrofit ventilation system provided push air into the bow of the hull mold while exhaust air intake hoods were located at the stern. Exhaust air was removed through sub floor ducts. In facility 1, 8 hour time weighted average styrene concentrations ranged from 24 to 72 parts per million (ppm). In facility 2 exposure concentrations ranged from 13 to 31ppm. In facility 3, the range was 16 to 34ppm. In all three, the highest styrene concentrations were found in the hull lamination area. Factory 1 showed a high degree of air mixing in the building, but exposed all workers in the building to a moderate concentration of styrene. In factory 2 the high volume of air exhausted by the air slots kept background concentrations low in other areas of the building. The push/pull ventilation system of factory 3 produced an acceptably low exposure concentration for personnel but exhaust hood flow was about 50 percent of design specifications resulting in much air spill over from the hull into the room. The author concludes that these three ventilation systems successfully control lamination worker exposure to styrene below the existing limit of 100ppm and will be very close to meeting the proposed NIOSH 50ppm time weighted average exposure. Each of these systems may be retrofitted in an existing facility.
NIOSH-Author; Inhalants; Industrial-exposures; Workers; Pulmonary-clearance; Lung; Industrial-emissions; Air-monitoring; Respiration; Industrial-safety; Environmental-health-monitoring; Environmental-factors; Author Keywords: boat building; engineering controls; fiber reinforced plastics; FRP yachts; gel coat; lamination; personal protective equipment; polyesterktyrene resin; styrene; ventilation; work practice
W.F. Todd, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control, Engineering Control Technology Branch, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH, 45226
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division