NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (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)
Date Last Revised: 12/11/2012
ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Styrene, Monomer. 2001.
ANSI: American National Standard Acceptable Concentrations of Styrene. September 5, 1969.
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.
note: Persons using diffusive samplers to monitor workplace air must ensure that the sampling devices are properly closed before transporting such devices to the laboratory for analysis. The device will continue to sample until properly closed. Diffusive sampler accessories used for analysis of samplers must be included with transported samples. Persons using such devices must provide sampling-site station barometric pressure and temperature to the analytical laboratory to improve accuracy of sampling results.
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