NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

In-depth study: an occupational exposure assessment of styrene and noise in the fiber-reinforced plastic boat manufacturing industry at Island Packet Yachts (IPY) Largo, Florida.

Carlo RV; Feng HA; Morata TC; Kardous CA
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 306-16a, 2007 Feb; :1-34
A one-week in-depth survey was performed to assess the occupational exposures of styrene vapors, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the engineering controls currently installed for reducing styrene exposures during two distinct fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) boat manufacturing processes. The primary objective of this study was to quantify the exposures occurring during both an open and closed mold process. A secondary objective was to asses the noise levels occurring during jobs which involve the use of styrene-based products. The effectiveness of the styrene controls examined in this study was evaluated by measuring styrene concentrations in personal breathing-zone and general-area samples during typical work shifts. The personal breathing-zone samples for the workers in the closed-mold area resulted in a geometric mean styrene concentration of 7.04 to 7.34 parts per million (ppm). The personal-breathing zone samples of workers in the open-molding process ranged from a geometric mean styrene concentration of 11.6 ppm for the small parts laminators and approximately 13 ppm for the hull laminator, large part laminator, and the gelcoater. The general-area air sample results were below 10 ppm for all of the areas sampled. A total of nineteen personal noise measurements were collected during the survey from seven workers identified during the company's audit as needing to be in the Hearing Conservation Program and who were also exposed to styrene. Results indicated that the styrene exposures for this group are equal or below 10 ppm. Such low levels of styrene exposure make it difficult to detect if this exposure is contributing to hearing deterioration. Still, if any of the workers in this group develops a hearing loss that cannot be explained by their noise exposure, he or she should be referred to their physician for further examination.
Control-technology; Region-4; Styrenes; Boat-manufacturing-industry; Engineering-controls; Fibrous-glass; Vapors; Reinforced-plastics; Exposure-assessment; Hearing-conservation; Noise-analysis; Ototoxicity
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch, Mail Stop R-5, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Control Technology
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
SIC Code
3732; NAICS-336612
Source Name
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