Thursday, February 9, 2012

Styrene: A brief look into plastics, issues and concerns

Styrene is often used in the
manufacturing of boats.
Styrene is a widely used chemical for making plastic materials. It is a main ingredient in polystyrene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, synthetic rubber, paints, expanded polystyrene and in hard or foam resins.

Because it resists corrosion and makes for strong materials, styrene is often used in the manufacture of marine watercraft, cultured marble countertops, solid-surface products in bathrooms and kitchen and more.

It is often applied with a bucket and roller or sprayed on and it has a strong odor, which means regulators see it as a potentially harmful substance to workers.

In June 2011, styrene was listed as a substance “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” in the 12th Report on Carcinogens in the United States.

What is styrene?

Styrene is also known as ethenylbenzene or vinyl benzene. It is an organic compound with the chemical formula C6H5CH=CH2.
Styrene is listed as "reasonably
anticipated" to be a carcinogen.

Styrene started being commercially produced in 1925 in Germany. Today, about 15 billion lbs. of styrene are produced internationally.

People are usually exposed to styrene by inhaling the fumes.

The open molding operations in the composites manufacturing industry are causing the greatest occupational exposure to styrene.

Wearing a respirator suitable for organic vapors can reduce styrene exposure but does not eliminate it entirely.

The industry’s safe-exposure limit for styrene is 50 ppm (parts per million) over an eight-hour day.

Since styrene’s listing in the 12th RoC, there have been considerable industry efforts to have the chemical delisted.

Source: Composites Technology 

Carbon air scrubbers for airborne chemicals and vapors
Activated carbon or

Styrene vapors and other chemicals and gases can be adsorbed by specially impregnated activated carbon, the most efficient and trusted filter media for gaseous pollutants.

Electrocorp offers industrial-strength air cleaners with granular activated carbon and particle filtration for an all-around air cleaning system.

Find out more by browsing Electrocorp’s air cleaners for chemical manufacturing plants or by contacting one of Electrocorp’s IAQ representatives.

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