Agent Name

Styrene

CAS Number

100-42-5

Formula

C8-H8

Major Category

Plastics & Rubber

Synonyms

Cinnamene; Ethenylbenzene; Phenylethene; Phenethylene; Phenylethylene; Styrene monomer; Styrol; Styrolene; Vinylbenzene; [CHEMINFO] UN2055

Category

Styrenes

Description

Colorless to yellow, oily liquid with a sweet, floral odor; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

"Styrene is used extensively in the manufacture of plastics, rubber, and resins. About 90,000 workers, including those who make boats, tubs and showers, are potentially exposed to styrene." [http://www.osha-slc.gov/SLTC/styrene/]

Comments

Liquid causes first degree burns on short exposure; [CHRIS] There is evidence that occupational exposure to styrene in high concentrations over long periods of time can cause chronic encephalopathy similar to "Painters' syndrome" caused by other organic solvents. [Sullivan, p. 1156-7] Occupational asthma confirmed by bronchoprovocation testing in 2 workers in a plastics factory; [Malo] Styrene can induce liver injury in experimental animals. [Zimmerman, p. 367] Styrene can cause defatting of skin and CNS depression. [ICSC] A 1996-99 study of 328 reinforced plastics workers in the US found that air levels have decreased substantially over the last 10-20 years. [Reference #2]

Reference Link

OSHA Technical Links: Styrene

Exposure Assessment
BEI

Mandelic acid plus phenylglyoxylic acid in urine = 400 mg/g creatinine at end of shift; Styrene in venous blood = 0.2 mg/L at end of shift;

Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

STEL (ACGIH)

40 ppm

PEL (OSHA)

100 mg/m3, Ceiling(OSHA) = 200 ppm(600 ppm is 5-min. peak in any 3 hrs.)

MAK

20 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

Volunteers exposed to 376 ppm for up to 7 hours experienced unpleasant subjective symptoms and objective signs of neurologic impairment [Stewart et al. 1968]. Drowsiness, nausea, headache, fatigue, and dizziness have been reported in workers exposed to 200 to 700 ppm [AIHA 1959].

Vapor Pressure

6.4 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

0.01 ppm

Odor Threshold High

1.9 ppm

RD50

980 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (rat) = 12,000 mg/m3/4H

Explanatory Notes

Detection odor threshold from AIHA (mean = 0.14 ppm); The Guide from the Emergency Response Guidebook is for "Styrene monomer, stabilized." Flash point = 34 deg C;

Half Life

Blood: fast phase = 0.5 hour and a slow phase = 13 hours; for mandelic acid, fast phase = 4 hours and slow = 25 hours; for phenylglyoxylic acid, urinary 1/2 life = 11 hours; [TDR, p. 1088]

Reference Link

Predictors of occupational exposure to styrene and...[Occup Environ Med. 2006] - PubMed Result

Flammability (NFPA)

3: May ignite at ambient temperature

Adverse Effects
Asthma

Yes

Neurotoxin

CNS Solvent Syndrome

Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

Dermatotoxin

Skin Burns

IARC Carcinogen

Possible Carcinogen

ACGIH Carcinogen

Not Classifiable

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Biomedical References

Search PubMed

Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure:

Activities

Activities with risk of exposure: