|Occupational Health and Safety
Hazardous Substances: Styrene
Styrene can produce ill-health effects when inhaled, swallowed, or when it comes in contact with eyes or skin.
Styrene may irritate the eyes, nose, mouth, upper respiratory tract and skin. More severe exposure may cause a person to become
sleepy or unconscious. The central nervous system may be affected with paralysis of the respiratory centre.
Repeated skin contact with styrene may produce a skin rash. Prolonged exposure may affect the blood-forming system, particularly
the formation of white blood cells, so that the body’s defense mechanism against bacteria is reduced. Prolonged exposure can also
have a narcotic effect. Damage of the liver results in the symptoms of hepatitis, namely nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting and a
general feeling of illness. Continued and prolonged irritation of the bronchial tree may result in the symptoms of bronchitis. Styrene
is a carcinogen in animals and therefore a possible carcinogen in humans.
Local exhaust ventilation
General dilution ventilation
Personal protective equipment
ACGIH 50 ppm (213 mg/m3), to be changed to 20 ppm (85 mg/m3).
U.S. NIOSH recommendation 50 ppm.
Source: CAW Health, Safety & Environment Department