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Walk-through survey report: styrene and noise exposures during fiber reinforced plastic boat manufacturing at Island Packet Yachts (IPY), Largo, Florida.

Valladares RM; Blade LM
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, EPHB 306-15a, 2006 Feb; :1-14
On October 14, 2005, researchers from the Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch (EPHB) of the Division of Applied Research and Technology (DART) conducted a walk-through survey at Island Packet Yachts, in Largo, Florida. The primary purpose of this walk-through was to learn more about the fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) boat manufacturing industry and to assess the suitability of this facility for an in-depth survey. The main goals for the walk-through survey included performing a preliminary assessment of the occupational exposures to styrene vapor in air and observing the effectiveness of engineering exposure-control measures during the FRP boat manufacturing operations. A secondary objective was to perform a preliminary assessment of the noise exposures occurring during these operations. Preliminary Conclusions and Recommendations: According to an environmental health and safety (EHS) representative, the highest styrene exposure zones occur while making the hulls, decks, and internal glass units (IGU). Due to the shape and configuration of sailing yachts, it is believed that the worker's breathing-zone is near the laminating surface more when compared to traditional recreational-boat manufacturing. According to the few samples taken, the approximate styrene-vapor concentration in the hull laminating was only 10 ppm. The lamination and rolling steps in boat manufacturing are historically known for having the highest styrene vapor in air. It can be concluded that simple precautions like the three directed fans in parallel can be taken to ensure a low styrene-vapor environment. It is up to the plant manager to ensure that the ventilation system is properly balanced. A further investigation of this plant still needs to be discussed with NIOSH researchers.
Region-4; Styrenes; Styrene-resins; Boat-manufacturing-industry; Noise-exposure; Noise-control; Engineering-controls; Fibrous-glass; Plastics
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Mail Stop R-5, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998
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Field Studies; Control Technology
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Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division