Development of a colorimetric dosimeter for styrene exposure in shipyards

25 May 2022, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Despite the rapid evolution of industrial technologies in the last decades greatly improved many production processes, several industrial sectors still rely heavily on manual labour. Ship building is a possible example, as the fabrication of the hull is still mainly performed by human operators. Styrene, a largely used chemical in many production chains of the polymer industry, is the main component of the fiberglass used for the hulls. In the long term, exposure to styrene is known for its irritating effect, ototoxicity and suspected cancerogenic effects. In this work, we developed a radial colorimetric dosimeter based on nanostructured materials loaded with potassium permanganate and characterized to finely control the reaction kinetics over an eight hours work shift. Colorimetric dosimeters were successfully tested in a real case scenario by comparing their data with those obtained by sampling styrene with passive absorption tubes and analysing their content by thermal desorption/gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.


colorimetric dosimeter
chemical exposure
work environment


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