Styrene and odor

Styrene rapidly decays in the atmosphere, and does not persist in soil or water. However, plant neighbors may complain if styrene emissions are responsible for nuisance odors. People can detect styrene at very low concentrations. While subjects in laboratory studies may be able to detect styrene odor at levels as low as 0.02 ppm, people in their daily lives are not likely to detect styrene odor at levels lower than 0.2 ppm.

The majority of composites manufacturing operations can prevent nuisance odor problems using a simple hierarchy of controls: 1) use low-emitting processes and materials; 2) prevent ground-level releases of styrene vapors by using ventilation, keeping doors to production areas closed to keep plants under negative pressure, and exhaust the ventilated air at roof-level; and 3) use taller stacks if needed (for example, for plants located near residences or in hilly terrain).