Styrene has given some indication of lung carcinogenicity in oral studies in mice and mammary gland carcinogenicity in inhalation studies in rats. A number of individual epidemiological studies have found increases in the number of cancers of the blood or lymphatic system, although statistical analysis of the data in total provided no convincing evidence of carcinogenicity. Chromosomal damage has been induced in styrene-exposed workforces. Styrene produced effects on the chromosomes in rodents treated in inhalation or injection, and was mutagenic in Ames bacterial tests and in the fruit fly.

Effects on the liver and kidney occurred in laboratory animals exposed repeatedly by the oral or inhalation routes to styrene, with lung and testes injury and effects on the immune system also being reported on occasions. Acute studies indicated a low inhalation toxicity and a low to moderate oral toxicity in laboratory animals. Neurotoxicity has been induced in individuals inhaling styrene and mild effects on liver and kidney function and in the blood have also been reported on a few occasions. Styrene exhibited a low foetotoxicity but did not convincingly induce foetal malformations in inhalation and oral studies in laboratory animals. In man, styrene has been described as a skin irritant, a few cases of eye injury have been recorded, and there are some reports of skin and respiratory tract sensitization.

Date of Publication: 1990

Number of Pages: 11

CAS Number*: 100-42-5

Format: PDF available for immediate download

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