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Steering Styrene The Swedish plastic hull industry and the implementation of environmental legislation 1951-2007: institutional and industrial change

In the spring of 1951, the first plastic Swedish boat was manufactured. Thus, one of the most environmentally unfriendly industries in this country's industrial history was born. While building the plastic hulls, workers were exposed to levels of styrene that meant they were at risk of suffering severe brain damage, while the surrounding environment was also affected. Nevertheless, the industry developed with weak environmental regulations for more than two decades. It was not until 1975 that the first legal limits for the control of levels of styrene were set. In the past 30 years there have been more and more restrictions, both regarding the internal milieu and external pollution.

The project "Steering Styrene" is a study on the implementation and effects of these regulations, as well as the lack of regulations in the earlier period. How have technology, firm structure and terms of competition developed? How have firms, workers, trade unions and authorities acted during changing institutional conditions?

Contact Information

Lars Nyström

Box 200, 405 30 Göteborg,

Visiting Address:
C 418

031-786 4171

Page Manager: Sara Ellis Nilsson|Last update: 12/5/2012

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