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Expert Panel Conducts Scientific Review of Styrene

September 2008

Bucher began the meeting with a description of the revised multi-step review protocol adopted for the 12th RoC in 2007. "In this new arrangement," he explained, "the public meetings occur very early in the process." (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Lorenz Rhomberg, Ph.D.
Lorenz Rhomberg, Ph.D., was one of eight industry representatives speaking during the public comment session. He is a principal of Gradient Corporation who spoke on behalf of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Scot Eustis, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Panel member Scot Eustis, D.V.M., Ph.D., left, looked on as colleague Lauren Zeise, Ph.D., referred to one of the studies cited in the Draft Document for Styrene. Eustis is a veterinary pathologist now in private practice, and Zeise is a risk assessment specialist with the California Environmental Protection Agency. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

On July 21-22, 2008, an expert panel met at the Radisson Hotel Research Triangle Park, N.C. to evaluate styrene, which was nominated for possible listing in the12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC). A majority of the panel members voted to recommend listing the compound as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.

Styrene is a monomer used worldwide in the production of polymers that are incorporated into products such as rubber, plastic, insulation, fiberglass, pipes, automobile parts, food containers and carpet backing.

After receiving oral public comments from a number of groups, the expert panel carried out an in-depth review of the draft background document on styrene identifying edits to the text and additional references for inclusion. Following completion of the peer review, the expert panel discussed the scientific evidence regarding the carcinogenicity of styrene and recommended (8 yes/ 2 no) that styrene be listed in the12th RoCas reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based upon sufficient evidence from studies in experimental animals and limited evidence from studies in humans.

Next, the NTP will solicit public comment on the expert panel's listing recommendation and scientific justification through the Federal Register and finalize the background document, taking into consideration the panel's recommended edits and public comments.

Information about this meeting and the review of styrene is available by contacting the RoC Office.

(Reprinted from the August 2008NTP Update)

David Phillips, Ph.D., DSc.
Panel Chair David Phillips, Ph.D., DSc., conferred with RoC Group Director Ruth Lunn, Dr.P.H., following the public comment portion of the meeting. Phillips is a professor of Environmental Carcinogenesis at the University of London Institute of Cancer Research. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

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