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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

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

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 2280

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 100-42-5

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: WL3675000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook [4 MB PDF, 392 pages]: 2055 128P

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Styrene: Physical description, chemical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Hazard Summary - Styrene: Uses, sources and potential exposure, acute and chronic health hazard information, and more

Exposure Limits and Health Effects

Exposure Limit

Limit Values

HE Codes

Health Factors and Target Organs

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) – General Industry
See 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-2
(See also ANSI Z37.15-1969)

100 ppm
TWA

200 ppm
Ceiling

Exception to ceiling value: 600 ppm (peak), for a single time period up to 5 minutes for any 3 hours

HE7

Central nervous system depression

HE11

Irritation of the lungs

HE15

Eye, nose, and skin irritation

OSHA PEL – Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A

100 ppm
(420 mg/m3)
Ceiling

HE7

Central nervous system depression

HE11

Irritation of the lungs

HE15

Eye, nose, and skin irritation

OSHA PEL – Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards

100 ppm
(420 mg/m3)
TWA

HE7

Central nervous system depression

HE11

Irritation of the lungs

HE15

Eye, nose, and skin irritation

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL)

50 ppm
(215 mg/m3)
TWA

100 ppm
(425 mg/m3)
STEL

HE2

Mutagenic effects, including cytogenic changes

HE7

Central nervous system depression

HE8

Narcosis

HE15

Eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2001)
(Listed under Styrene, Monomer)

20 ppm
TWA

40 ppm
STEL

A4; BEI

HE2

Chromosomal abnormalities in peripheral lymphocytes

HE7

Central nervous system depression; peripheral nervous system impairment; optic and otoneurologic impairment

HE15

Irritation of eyes, mucous membranes, upper respiratory system, and skin

CAL/OSHA PELs

50 ppm
(215 mg/m3)
TWA

500 ppm
Ceiling

100 ppm
(425 mg/m3)
STEL

Skin

   

National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen [331 KB PDF, 9 pages]

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carcinogenic classification: Group 2B [422 KB PDF, 114 pages] (possibly carcinogenic to humans)

EPA carcinogenic classification: Not listed

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): 1 mg/m3

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Inhalation Minimal Risk Level (MRL): 5 ppm (acute); 0.2 ppm (chronic)

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) concentration: 700 ppm

Notes on Other Potential Health Effects and Hazards

  1. Listed among FDA's "food additives permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption" (21 CFR 172.515).
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Occupational styrene exposure may have an association with central auditory dysfunction characterized by a temporal processing disorder (Zamyslowska-Szmytke et al. 2009).
  5. 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)
  6. 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)
  7. 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

Literature Basis

  • 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.
  • EPA IRIS Styrene, 1993
  • IARC Monograph for Classification of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans, Volume 82, Styrene, 2002 [422 KB PDF, 114 pages]
  • 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 12th Report on Carcinogens Styrene, 2011 [331 KB PDF, 9 pages]
  • NIOSH: Criteria for a Recommended Standard - Occupational Exposure to Styrene. 1983.
  • NIOSH/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.
Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:

  • sampling media: Coated Charcoal Tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh) Coating is p-tert-butylcatechol.
    analytical solvent: Toluene
    alternative solvent: (99:1) Carbon Disulfide:Dimethylformaide
    maximum volume: 12 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min
    maximum volume: 0.75 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (STEL)
    minimum time: 5 Minutes
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (Ceiling)
    minimum time: 5 Minutes
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (Peak)
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 89)
    method classification: Fully Validated

  • sampling media: Diffusive Sampler:
    SKC 575-006 Passive Sampler; or
    3M 3520 Organic Vapor Monitor
    analytical solvent: Toluene
    sampling time: 15 to 240 Minutes
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography FID detector; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 1014)
    method classification: Fully Validated
    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.

On-Site Sampling Techniques/Methods:

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: AUER/MSA
    model/type: Styrene-10, MSA P/N 804135, AUER P/N 5086-819
    sampling information: follow manufacturer's instructions
    upper measurement limit: 300 ppm
    detection limit: approximately 5 ppm
    overall uncertainty: unknown
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Dräger
    model/type: Styrene 10/a, order no. 67 23301
    sampling information: 2 to 15 strokes
    upper measurement limit: 200 ppm
    detection limit: approximately 5 ppm
    overall uncertainty: approximately 33%
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Dräger
    model/type: Styrene 10/b, order no. 67 33141
    sampling information: 20 strokes
    upper measurement limit: 250 ppm
    detection limit: approximately 5 ppm
    overall uncertainty: approximately 33%
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Dräger
    model/type: Styrene 50/a, order no. CH 27601
    sampling information: 2 to 11 strokes
    upper measurement limit: 400 ppm
    detection limit: approximately 25 ppm
    overall uncertainty: approximately 33%
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Gastec
    model/type: 124
    sampling information: 0.5 to 2 strokes
    upper measurement limit: 1500 ppm
    detection limit: 1 ppm
    overall uncertainty: 25% for 20 to 100 ppm, 16% for 100 to 500 ppm
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Gastec
    model/type: 124L
    sampling information: 1 or 4 strokes
    upper measurement limit: 100 ppm
    detection limit: 0.5 ppm
    overall uncertainty: 16% for 2 to 5 ppm, 8% for 5 to 25 ppm
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

  • device: Detector Tube
    manufacturer: Matheson-Kitagawa
    model/type: 8014-158S
    sampling information: 1 or 2 strokes
    upper measurement limit:300 ppm
    detection limit: approximately 1 ppm
    overall uncertainty: unknown
    method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

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