Styrene is an essential component of unsaturated-polyester resins used in some fibre-reinforced polymer composites (FRPs). It both solubilises the resin and aids the cross-linking in the cure phase.
Styrene is classified as harmful and flammable. The current UK WEL is 100ppm Max (8hr TWA). There is a voluntary industry code of practise to work below 50ppm. It should be noted that the OEL in most other EU States is considerably lower.
Under REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) there is a programme of work to harmonise the classification and OEL of styrene in the EU.
Further information can be found at: www.upresins.org.