IRSST publication

Effects of Concentration Peaks on Styrene Neurotoxicity in the Fibreglass Reinforced Plastics Industry – Phase II

Vyskocil, Adolf; El Majidi, Naïma; Thuot, Ross; Beaudry, Charles; Charest-Tardif, Ginette; Tardif, Robert; Gagnon, France; Ska, Bernadette; Turcot, Alice; Drolet, Daniel; Aliyeva, Elmira; Viau, Claude
Studies and Research Projects / Report  R-728, Montréal, IRSST, 2012, 110 pages.

Version française disponible : R-640

Project: Effets des pics de concentration sur la neurotoxicité du styrène dans l'industrie du plastique renforcé de fibre de verre - Phase II

Champ: Chemical and Biological Hazard Prevention


This project follows an initial phase that focused on the acute effects of styrene exposure and a critical analysis of the literature. This time, the authors wanted to determine whether exposure to high concentrations of this solvent, even for short periods, has harmful consequences on the health of workers who are regularly exposed to it. Their work was carried out on workers exposed to styrene in fibreglass reinforced plastics industries, at average concentrations not exceeding the time-weighted average exposure value (TWAEV) of 213 mg/m3.
In this type of industry, major styrene exposure peaks were observed. In some cases, the measured values exceeded the standards specified by the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety (ROHS). It appears that at the exposure concentrations described, and for the exposure duration of the workers who participated in this study, styrene has no appreciable effect on the neurosensory and neuropsychological tests used by the researchers.
According to the authors, these results, in contrast to others published in the scientific literature, do not justify lowering the Québec exposure standards for styrene for workers exposed under conditions similar to those in their cohort.

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