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    General Description

    Synonyms:  Cinnamene; Ethenyl benzene; Phenylethylene; Styrene monomer; Styrol; Vinylbenzene

    OSHA IMIS code: 2280

    CAS number(s): 100-42-5

    Monitoring Methods used by OSHA
    Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
    coated charcoal tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh) coating is p-tert-butylcatechol
    diffusive sampler: SKC 575-006 passive sampler; or 3M 3520 organic vapor monitor
    On-Site Sampling Techniques/Methods:
    detector tube (AUER/MSA)
    detector tube (Dräger)
    detector tube (Dräger)
    detector tube (Dräger)
    detector tube (Gastec)
    detector tube (Gastec)
    detector tube (Matheson-Kitagawa)

    Carcinogenic classification:

    NTP: Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen
    IARC: Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans)
    EPA: Not listed
    EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): 1 mg/m3

    ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): 5 ppm (acute); 0.2 ppm (chronic)

    NIOSH IDLH concentration: 700 ppm

    Notes on other potential health effects and hazards:

    Listed among FDA’s “food additives permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption” (21 CFR 172.515).
    Occupational exposure may result in hearing loss (ototoxicity) and color vision loss (increased Color Confusion Index) at exposures below the PEL (Morata et al. 2002).
    Metabolized by cytochrome P-450s 2E1 and 2B6 to styrene-7,8-oxide, which is further metabolized to the main urinary metabolites mandelic acid and phenyl-glyoxylic acid. A minor metabolite, 4-vinylphenol, is specific for styrene exposure.
    Occupational styrene exposure may have an association with central auditory dysfunction characterized by a temporal processing disorder (Zamyslowska-Szmytke et al. 2009).
    IARC concluded there was limited evidence for carcinogenicity of styrene in humans based on observation of increased hematopoietic  tumors in several cohorts, and limited evidence in laboratory animals based on increased lung tumors, leading to the classification 2B, of possibly carcinogenic to humans. (IARC, 2002)
    The NTP Report on Carcinogens concluded that there was sufficient evidence for carcinogenicity in laboratory animals based on increased lung tumors, and limited evidence in humans based on increased hematopoietic tumors in several cohorts, leading to a classification of reasonably anticipated to cause cancer in humans. (NTP, 2011)
    The EPA reference concentration is derived from a study in workers showing decreased central nervous system function at 22 ppm. (EPA 1993, Mutti 1984).
    Partial reference list:

    ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) – Styrene, Monomer. 2016.
    ANSI: American National Standard Acceptable Concentrations of Styrene. September 5, 1969.
    EPA IRIS Styrene, 1993
    IARC Monograph for Classification of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans, Volume 82, Styrene, 2002
    Manini, P. et al.: Assessment of biotransformation of the arene moiety of styrene in volunteers and occupationally exposed workers. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 189(3): 160-169, 2003.
    Morata, T.C. et al.: Audiometric findings in workers exposed to low levels of styrene and noise. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 44(9): 806-814, 2002.
    Mutti, A., A. Mazzucchi, P. Rusticelli, G. Frigeri, G. Arfini, and I. Franchini. 1984. Exposure-effect and exposure-response relationships between occupational exposure to styrene and neuropsychological functions. Am. J. Ind. Med. 5: 275-286.
    NTP Report on Carcinogens Styrene
    NIOSH: Criteria for a Recommended Standard – Occupational Exposure to Styrene. 1983.
    NIOSH/CEC/IPCS: International Chemical Safety Cards – Styrene. April 2006.
    Zamyslowska-Szmytke E. et al.: Temporal processing disorder associated with styrene exposure. Audiol Neurootol. 14(5):296-302, 2009.
    Additional Information
    Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 2055 128P.
    EPA: Hazard Summary – Styrene.
    NIOSH: Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards – Styrene.
    NIOSH: Registry of Toxic Effects (RTECS) Identification Number – WL3675000.

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