A visit was made to the Glas Ply Boat Company (SIC-3732), Marysville, Washington, to evaluate the effectiveness of the ventilation system to lessen the exposure of workers to styrene (100425), fiberglass and other hazardous materials during the manufacture and repair of boats. Materials used in the manufacture of the boats include woven glass fiber roving, chopped glass fiber strand, styrene polyester resin, styrene polyester gel coat, polyurethane resins, a peroxide catalyst and paint. Acetone (67641) was used as a cleaning agent to remove styrene resin from equipment, skin and clothing. The general ventilation system, air flow measurements, and general work practices designed to reduce exposures were described. In no case did sampling indicate that the OSHA time weighted average limit for styrene of 420mg/m3 was being exceeded. While the dilution ventilation system performed well in keeping styrene levels generally well below limits, it did not assure an air supply to tight quarters such as inside a boat and within untilted hulls. The author recommends that all spray on operations be moved toward the center of the building to be within the more turbulent air zone. Auxiliary ventilation should be employed for deck/hull taping and interior boat hull painting operations. Grinding operations should be placed near the walls where low air turbulence will minimize the dispersion of the dust generated. Organic vapor respirators should be worn during spray on and roll out operations.
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