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Review of the Styrene Assessment in the National Toxicology Program 12th Report on Carcinogens (2014)

Chapter: Appendix B: Statement of Task of the Committee to Review the Styrene Assessment in the National Toxicology Program 12th Report on Carcinogens

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Statement of Task of the Committee to Review the Styrene Assessment in the National Toxicology Program 12th Report on Carcinogens." National Research Council. 2014. Review of the Styrene Assessment in the National Toxicology Program 12th Report on Carcinogens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18725.
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Appendix B

Statement of Task of the Committee to Review the Styrene Assessment in the National Toxicology Program 12th Report on Carcinogens

A committee of the National Research Council (NRC) will conduct a scientific peer review of the styrene assessment presented in the National Toxicology Program (NTP) 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC). The committee will identify and evaluate relevant, publicly available, peer-reviewed literature, with particular emphasis on literature published as of June 10, 2011, the release date of the 12th RoC. The committee will document its decisions for inclusion or exclusion of literature from its evaluation and will identify the set of information deemed most critical to the evaluation. The committee will apply independently the NTP’s established RoC listing criteria to the scientific evidence from studies in humans, experimental animals, and other studies relevant to mechanisms of carcinogenesis and make independent level-of-evidence determinations with respect to the human and animal studies. The committee will integrate the level-of-evidence conclusions, and considering all relevant information in accordance with the RoC listing criteria, make an independent listing recommendation for styrene and provide scientific justification for its recommendation.

Note: The NRC has an agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services to undertake a scientific peer review of the determinations concerning formaldehyde and styrene in the National Toxicology Program’s 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC). The expert committees appointed by the Academy for this assignment will follow standard Academy practices in carrying out their independent scientific reviews, which may include consideration of any and all issues that the committees and the Academy decide are necessary to carry out credible, independent, scientific evaluations of the two determinations, potentially including the criteria for the determinations. The statements of task for these two peer reviews were recently modified to make it clear that the NRC’s assignment does not also include a separate review of the National Toxicology Program’s listing criteria.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Statement of Task of the Committee to Review the Styrene Assessment in the National Toxicology Program 12th Report on Carcinogens." National Research Council. 2014. Review of the Styrene Assessment in the National Toxicology Program 12th Report on Carcinogens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18725.
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Page 164
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Many people in the United States are exposed to styrene. Sources of environmental exposure included food (from migration of styrene from polymer packaging materials), cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust and other forms of combustion and incineration of styrene polymers. Occupational exposure to humans can occur during the industrial processing of styrene. It is used to create a broad spectrum of products, including latex paints and coatings; synthetic rubbers; construction materials, such as pipes, fittings, and lighting fixtures; packaging; household goods, such as synthetic marble, flooring, and molded furnishings; and automotive parts. In 2011, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) listed styrene as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" in its 12th Report on Carcinogens, marking the first time that the substance was listed. Congress directed the Department of Health and Human Services to arrange for the National Academy of Sciences to independently review the substance profile of styrene and it listing in the NTP report.

Review of the Styrene Assessment in the National Toxicology Program 12th Report on Carcinogens concurs with the NTP determination that there is limited but credible evidence that exposure to styrene in some occupational settings is associated with an increase in the frequency of lymphohematopoietic cancers. Additionally, the NRC report authoring committee independently reviewed the scientific evidence from studies in humans, experimental animals, and other studies relevant to the mechanisms of carcinogenesis and made level-of-evidence conclusions. Based on credible but limited evidence of carcinogenicity in traditional epidemiologic studies, on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animals, and on convincing evidence that styrene is genotoxic in exposed humans, this report finds that compelling evidence exists to support a listing of styrene as, at a minimum, "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen."

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