Cinnaminson, NJ, July 30th , 2018
Canada’s News 1130 recently published an article about an investigation by WorkSafe BC into renovation work taking place at a large public pool in Vancouver. According to the report, pool resurfacing work took place with inadequate ventilation which caused an objectionable odor for workers or anyone in the general area.
The strong chemical odors were said to be detectable 200 meters away and were due to styrene and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK). Styrene has been listed as ‘reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen’ in the Thirteenth Report on Carcinogens published by the National Toxicology Program (NTP). It is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that is widely used to make plastics, fiberglass, rubber and latex. It is used to make polystyrene plastics and resins that can be made into foam and rigid plastic products. Styrene is used in the manufacturing of products such as tires, hoses, tanks, carpet backing, coatings, paint and metal cleaners. It is used to make resins for construction materials, boats, tubs and shower stalls. Styrene is also used in paper processing, to make dental fillings, and to make resins for various office products, including some photocopier toners and computer printer cartridges. Cigarette smoke and automobile exhaust also contain styrene.
Methyl ethyl ketone is a volatile liquid that may cause drowsiness and dizziness according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). Inhalation exposure can irritate the nose and throat. The agency reports that at high concentrations, it can harm the nervous system and severe exposure can cause unconsciousness.
“Fortunately, workers were wearing respirators according to the WorkSafe BC report, but others in the area could easily have been exposed to these chemicals in the air,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “To protect workers and the public, EMSL’s network of laboratories throughout Canada and the United States offer industrial hygiene and environmental testing for styrene, MEK and a wide range of other chemicals. EMSL is also a major supplier of respirators and other personal protective equipment to help prevent inhalation and skin absorption hazards.”
EMSL has even sponsored an educational video about styrene and exposure concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/GQvkU-xDs-U
To learn more about this or other occupational, environmental, air quality, health and safety testing services or to access personal protective equipment (PPE), please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 45 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.