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RE: [greenyes] resin
Styrene Chemical Backgrounder


Pure styrene (C.A.S. 100-42-5) is a colorless liquid that evaporates easily
and has a sweet smell. It often contains other chemicals that give it a
sharp, unpleasant smell. When it is linked together in long chains, or
polystyrene, styrene is used predominantly in the production of polystyrene
plastics and resins, such as in insulation or in the fabrication of
fiberglass boats; most styrene products contain a residue of unlinked
Styrene is also used to make rubber, and as an intermediate in the synthesis
of materials used for ion exchange resins and to produce
copolymers such as styrene-acrylonitrile, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene,
and styrene-butadiene rubber. Products produced from styrene include
packaging, electrical and thermal insulation, fiberglass, pipes, automobile
parts, drinking cups and other food-use items, and carpet backing.
Styrene is also present in combustion products such as cigarette smoke and
automobile exhaust. Low levels of styrene occur naturally in a
variety of foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beverages, and meats.

Chemical properties:

Styrene dissolves in some liquids, but dissolves only slightly in water. It
is soluble in alcohol, ether, acetone, and carbon disulfide; it is
incompatible with oxidizers, catalysts for vinyl polymers, peroxides, strong
acids, and aluminum chloride. Styrene is dangerous when exposed to
flame, heat or oxidants; it reacts violently with chlorosulfonic acid,
oleum, and alkali metal-graphite, and reacts vigorously with oxidizing
It may polymerize if contaminated or subjected to heat; on decomposition, it
emits acrid fumes. It usually contains an inhibitor such as
tert-butylcatechol. Styrene is quickly broken down in the air, usually
within one to two days; it evaporates from shallow soils andsurface water.
Styrene that remains in soil or water may be broken down by bacteria.

Synonyms for styrene are ethenyl benzene, cinnamene, cinnamenol, NCI-C02200,
phenylethene, phenylethylene, styrene monomer, styrol,
vinylbenzol, and vinylbenzene.


     Chemical Name: Styrene
     Regulatory Name: Styrene
     Formula: C8H8
     DOT Label: Flammable Liquid
     CAS: 100-42-5
     STCC: 4907265, 4907235
     UN Number: 2055

Health effects:

Styrene is classified in EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) as a
carcinogen. Exposure can be through inhalation, ingestion, or skin or eye
contact. The most common health effects from exposure to styrene affect the
central nervous and respiratory systems, including depression,
concentration problems, muscle weakness, fatigue, unsteadiness, narcosis,
defatting dermatitis, and nausea.

Exposure may also irritate the nose, throat, and eyes, including severe eye
injuries and lachrymation. Populations with potentially high exposures
to styrene include people working in various styrene industries, smokers,
and those eating a high proportion of foods packaged in polystyrene.

Exposure Values:

     IDLH: 700 ppm (NIOSH, 1997)
     TLV TWA: 50 ppm (ACGIH, 1999)
     TLV STEL: 100 ppm (ACGIH, 1999)
     ERPG-1: 50 ppm (AIHA, 1999)
     ERPG-2: 250 ppm (AIHA, 1999)
     ERPG-3: 1000 ppm (AIHA, 1999)
     NIOSH REL: TWA 50 ppm (215 mg/m3) ST 100 ppm (425 mg/m3)
     OSHA PEL: TWA 100 ppm C 200 ppm 600 ppm (5-minute maximum peak in any 3


Styrene has been manufactured in the United States since 1938. U.S.
producers of styrene are Huntsman Chemical Corporation, Bayport, TX ,
Sterling Chemicals, Inc, Texas City, TX, Cos-Mar, Inc, Carville, LA 70721,
Dow Chemical USA, Freeport, TX, ARCO Chemical Co,
Channelview, TX, Amoco Corp, Production site: Texas City, TX, Chevron Corp,
Production site: St James, LA, Rexene Products Co, Production
site: Odessa, TX , Westlake Styrene Corporation, Sulfur, LA


EPA offices regulating styrene are Water Regulations and Standards,
Emergency and Remedial Response, Solid Waste, and Toxic
Substances. The Food and Drug Administration regulates styrene as a food
additive-synthetic flavoring substance, as an indirect food additive,
as a component of polymers in paper in contact with dry food, and with a
residual styrene monomer limit in polystyrene intended for use in
contact with food.

Under the 1986 Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, releases
of more than one pound of styrene into the air, water, or land
must be reported annually and entered into the TRI.

Under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act
of 1986 releases of more than one pound of styrene into the
air, water, and land must be reported annually and entered into the Toxic
Release Inventory (TRI).

National Overview of 1998 Toxics Release Inventory

In 1998, 1,639 facilities released 56,465,060 pounds of Styrene. Of those
releases, 53,608,408 pounds were air emissions; 13,452 pounds
were surface water discharges; 507,683 pounds were released by underground
injection; 337,665 pounds were released to land; and,
1,997,852 pounds were transferred off-site for disposal. Total emissions for
1998 represented an increase from 1997 emissions, which totaled
46,49,227 pounds; from 1996 emissions, which totaled 44,477,545 pounds; from
1995 emissions, which totaled 44,343,061 pounds; and an
increase from 1988 (baseline) emissions, which totaled 36,615,682 pounds.

In 1998, 126,605,154 pounds of Styrene waste were managed; 14,570,509 pounds
were recycled on-site; 1,899,591 pounds were recycled
off-site; 27,394,262 pounds were used for energy recovery on-site;
11,406,443 pounds were used for energy recovery off-site; 10,552,090
pounds were treated on-site; 5,117,057 pounds were treated off-site; and
55,665,202 pounds were released on-and off-site.

The 10 states in which the largest amounts of Styrene were released in 1998
were: Tennessee (7,871,853 pounds); Indiana (5,467,763 pounds);
Texas (4,207,417 pounds); Florida (4,160,956 pounds); Georgia (3,276,788
pounds); California (2,698,247 pounds); Illinois (2,155,725
pounds); Michigan (2,055,397 pounds); Ohio (1,804,249 pounds); and North
Carolina (1,656,968 pounds).

The 10 facilities releasing the largest amounts of styrene in 1998 were:
Aguaglass Corp., Adamsville, TN (3,759,553 pounds); Aquaglass
Performance Plant, Mc Ewen, TN (1,537,700 pounds); Lasco Bathware Inc.,
Cordele, GA (772,761 pounds); Lasco Bathware Inc., Three Rivers,
MI (695,490 pounds); General Electric Co., Ottawa, IL (565,610 pounds); Aqua
Glass West Inc., Klamath Falls, OR (522,278 pounds); Tomkins
Ind. Inc. Lasco Bathware Div., South Boston, VA (499,177 pounds); Lasco
Bathware Div., Yelm, WA (485,996 pounds); Universal-Rundle Corp.,
Union Point, GA (470,000 pounds); and Lasco Bathware Div. Of Tomkins Ind.,
Anaheim, CA (454,690 pounds).


The NIOSH recommended exposure limits (RELs) are time-weighted average (TWA)
concentrations for up to a 10-hour workday during a 40-hour workweek. A
exposure limit (STEL) is designated by "ST" preceding the value; unless
noted otherwise, the STEL is a 15-minute TWA exposure that should not be
exceeded at any time
during a workday. A ceiling REL is designated by "C" preceding the value.
Any substance that NIOSH considers to be a potential occupational carcinogen
is designated by
the notation "Ca."

The OSHA permissible exposure limits (PEL) are found in Tables Z-1, Z-2, and
Z-3 of the OSHA General Industry Air Contaminants Standard (29 CFR
1910.1000). Unless
noted otherwise, PEL are TWA concentrations that must not be exceeded during
any 8-hour workshift of a 40-hour workweek. A STEL is designated by "ST"
preceding the
value and is measured over a 15-minute period unless noted otherwise. OSHA
ceiling concentrations (designated by "C" preceding the value) must not be
exceeded during
any part of the workday; if instantaneous monitoring is not feasible, the
ceiling must be assessed as a 15-minute TWA exposure. In addition, there are
a number of
substances from Table Z-2 (e.g., beryllium, ethylene dibromide, etc.) that
have PEL ceiling values that must not be exceeded except for specified
excursions. For example,
a "5-minute maximum peak in any 2 hours" means that a 5-minute exposure
above the ceiling value, but never above the maximum peak, is allowed in any
2 hours during
an 8-hour workday.

Information Sources:

     CAMEOR, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration,
     Chemical Manufacturers Association, 1300 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA
22209: (703) 741-5000 or Chemical Referral Library, (800) 262-8200.
     National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Clearinghouse on
Environmental Health Effects, 100 Capitola Drive, #108, Durham, NC 27713;
(800) 643-4794;
     fax (919) 361-9408.
     TOXNET, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health;
     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M St., SW, Washington, DC
20460; Right to Know Hotline (800) 535-0202.
     U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety
Administration, Washington, DC,
     OSHA PEL: Z-1 Table:
     OSHA PEL: Z-2 Table:

-----Original Message-----
From: Sharon_Gates@no.address [mailto:Sharon_Gates@no.address]
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2003 2:54 PM
To: greenyes@no.address
Subject: [greenyes] resin

I have been asked twice in recent days if resin (the stuff you make
fiberglass with) is a hazardous material.  One caller read me the label on
the tub, which, among other things, said it was a "Class 3" material.  I
don't know what this means, nor did but I didn't understand most of the
rest of what the caller read me.  Anybody familiar with this stuff?

Sharon Gates
Recycling Specialist
City of Long Beach, California

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