WASHINGTON (May 31, 2011)—Styrene industry officials have decried the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Report on Carcinogens, which lists styrene as a potential human carcinogen.
Jack Snyder, executive director of the Styrene Information and Research Center, and John Schweitzer, senior director of government affairs for the American Composites Manufacturers Association, sent a letter May 24 to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, urging her to remove a proposed listing of styrene in the 12th Report on Carcinogens and schedule the chemical for review in the next edition.
The idea of listing styrene as a carcinogen was based on a recommendation by the National Toxicology Program, Snyder and Schweitzer said. Unfortunately, they said, the NTP recommendation was based on scientific and procedural errors.
“The recommendation of the NTP was based on a selective reading of the available scientific information that ignored a large number of important studies that did not support the staff position,” Snyder and Schweitzer said. “Moreover, the NTP staff recommendation is based on a novel manipulation of the data that was never peer-reviewed.”
HHS has not yet responded to the letter, said a spokeswoman for the Styrene Information and Research Council.