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Negative health effects related to styrene handling on factory workers
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

During a risk assessment undertaken in a factory dealing with fiber reinforced plastic products in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia, styrene was identified as the most potential hazard in the factory. It was therefore chosen to focus the rest of the risk assessment on this chemical. The purpose of this risk assessment was to find out which negative health effects styrene could have on the factory workers, especially on the laminators who are dealing daily with styrene at a close range during lamination through hand lay-up. This was investigated theoretically through a literature research and practically through measurements of styrene in the air in the factory.

The styrene doses were measured on two occasions at several distances away from the potential sources. These measurements were high compared with dose-response relationships found in the literature and various national occupational exposure limit values with regards to styrene. The calculated risk quotient (RQ) was also greater than one and it is therefore likely that styrene has negative health effects on the workers in the factory.

The various negative health effects identified in the literature were then included in a risk matrix were they were ranked according to the probability that they would have a negative effect on the factory workers. Hearing- and colourvision effects were ranked as very likely, effects on the central nervous system and the respiratory system as well as livertoxicity were classified as likely and genotoxicity was ranked as a possible negative health effect.

In the future it would be interesting to talk to the current laminators and do health check-ups to see if they are suffering from any of the suggested negative health effects. It would also be interesting to follow them on a longterm basis to see if their health is changing and if this can be linked to the styrene handling in the factory.

Abstract [sv]

Vid en riskbedömning i en fabrik i nordvästra Malaysia identifierades styren som den största hälsofaran för fabriksarbetarna, framförallt laminerarna eftersom de ofta hanterar styren på nära håll. Det valdes därför att fokusera den resterande riskbedömningen just på styren och dess möjliga negativa hälsoeffekter. Syftet med studien var att ta reda på om styren kan ha en negativ effekt på fabriksarbetarnas hälsa. Detta undersöktes teoretiskt genom en litteraturstudie och praktiskt genom mätningar av styrenhalten i fabriken. Vid två tillfällen mättes styrenhalten i fabriken. De uppmätta halterna jämfördes sedan med de dos-responssamband som funnits vid litteraturstudien, samt med olika nationella hygieniska gränsvärden för styren. De uppmätta värdena visade sig vara höga jämfört med de funna i litteraturen. Det bidrog tillsammans med den beräknade riskkvoten som visade sig vara större än ett, till slutsatsen att styren har en negativ effekt på fabriksarbetarnas hälsa.

De möjliga negativa hälsoeffekter som identifierats i litteraturen rangordnas med hjälp av en riskmatris enligt sannolikheten att de skulle utgjöra en risk för arbetarna i fabriken. Effekter på hörseln och färgseendet ansågs vara mycket sannolikt, effekter på centrala nervsystemet (CNS) och levern samt irritation av andningssystemet ansågs sannolika och att styren skulle vara genotoxiskt ansågs möjligt. Övriga hälsoeffekter ansågs osannolika eller mycket osannolika.

I framtida studier skulle det vara intressant att diskutera med de nuvarande laminerarna och undersöka dem medicinskt för att se om de har påverkats utav några av de förväntade hälsoeffekterna. Det vore också intressant att följa dessa arbetare under en längre tid för att se om deras hälsa ändras på något sätt som skulle kunna kopplas till styrenhanteringen i fabriken.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 39 p.
Keyword [en]
Dose-response, fiber reinforced plastic, health effects, laminator, risk assessment, risk matrix, styrene
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-47337OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-47337DiVA: diva2:872658
Subject / course
Environmental Science
Educational program
Environmental Risk Analysis Master Programme, 60 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2015-11-20 Created: 2015-11-19 Last updated: 2015-11-20Bibliographically approved

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