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Variability in protection afforded by half-mask respirators against styrene exposure in the field.
Galvin-K; Selvin-S; Spear-RC
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1990 Dec; 51(12):625-631
A study was conducted to assess the ability of half mask respirators to protect against exposure to styrene (100425). The study group consisted of 13 workers at a factory that manufactured fiberglass reinforced bathtubs and shower stalls. Six subjects were involved in spraying mixtures of polyester resin and fiberglass onto male molds. The others were involved in nonspraying operations. The subjects wore negative pressure air purifying half mask respirators equipped with organic vapor cartridges. Breathing zone samples were collected for three to six 1 hour periods and analyzed for styrene by gas chromatography with flame ionization detection. The data were used to compute penetration factors which represented the ability of the respirators to protect against styrene exposure. This factor was arrived at by dividing the time weighted average concentration inside the mask during inhalation by the time weighted average concentration in the breathing zone. The penetration factors showed wide interworker and intraworker variability ranging from 0.0010 to 0.2954. They did not differ significantly between workers involved in spraying and nonspraying operations. The overall geometric standard deviation in the data was 3.51. The interworker and intraworker geometric standard deviations were 1.92 and 2.93, respectively. The authors conclude that the respirators offer similar levels of protection during spraying and nonspraying operations. When specifying maximum use styrene concentrations, defined as the maximum environmental concentration for which the concentration inside the respirator remains within acceptable limits, both interworker and intraworker variability in the penetration factors must be considered.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Training; Organic-solvents; Industrial-hygiene; Equipment-reliability; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Occupational-exposure; Plastics-industry; Statistical-analysis; Aromatic-hydrocarbons
Biomedical & Environ Hlth Scis University of California 322 Warren Hall Berkeley, Calif 94720
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division