ACMA continually works with state and local regulatory agencies, including recently those in Ohio, Indiana and California’s Mojave Desert air quality district, to ensure control requirements for composites manufacturing operations effectively reduce emissions while being both technically and economically feasible.
Workplace Health and Safety
ACMA works with OSHA and other organizations to assess workplace health and safety risks in composites manufacturing operations and to identify appropriate controls and work practices. For example, the association promotes effective and feasible OSHA regulation of hazards, including those associated with combustible dust, flammable liquids and other process elements typically found in the industry.
A longstanding ACMA effort with the National Fire Protection Association encourages the adoption of effective and affordable fire code requirements for the industry’s use of organic peroxides, storage of flammable liquids and spray application of resin and gel coat. ACMA’s bulk resin storage tank guidance allows efficient compliance with the applicable NFPA requirements.
The composites industry would be very different if it were not possible for small manufacturers to safely use the thermosetting resins with styrene as the reactive diluent. ACMA works very closely with the Styrene Information & Research Center (SIRC) to support its comprehensive styrene toxicity research program and to advocate for the classification and regulation of styrene health effects based on the best available science.
In addition to SIRC, ACMA works closely with industry partners to promote the adoption of controls and work practices needed to protect employees from adverse health impacts that may result from exposure to styrene. The association’s programs with federal and state agencies encourage the regulation of occupational styrene exposure based on a weight-of-evidence assessment of the full range of scientific data and taking into account the feasibility of control options such as mechanical ventilation.
ACMA’s “Staying Healthy While Working with Resin” bulletin provides a concise summary of the scientific findings and recommendations for controlling workplace exposures to styrene. You can access the bulletin at www.acmaeducationhub.org/products/1089/staying-healthy-while-working-with-resin.
Congress’s major 2016 reform of the Toxic Substance Control Act increased the chance EPA will subject the composites industry’s use of styrene to a major risk assessment and possibly issue control requirements if exposures are found to exceed a “no unreasonable risk” standard. The recently issued final rules for TSCA risk assessment adopted ACMA’s recommendations that EPA comply with the risk assessment best practices endorsed by the National Academies. And the agency agreed to consider exempting uses of chemicals already regulated by other agencies like OSHA from TSCA review.