CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio (Oct. 26, 2011)—Mar-Bal Inc., a composites manufacturer in Chagrin Falls, has written the Obama administration urging it to support a National Academy of Sciences review of a recent government decision to designate styrene as a human carcinogen.
The National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued its 12th Report on Carcinogens June 10. In that document, for the first time, NTP identified styrene as an anticipated carcinogen, although it acknowledged it had not established that styrene causes cancer in humans.
“The designation is completely unjustified by the latest science and resulted from a flawed process that focuses on only those data that support a cancer concern,” the Styrene Information and Research Center said at the time. SIRC also noted that the European Union, using the full database on styrene, determined styrene does not pose a human cancer risk.
Brothers and Mar-Bal owners Scott and Steven Balogh wrote White House Chief of Staff William Daley Oct. 24, saying that the designation of styrene as an anticipated carcinogen creates difficulties for all styrene users.
“(The designation) has placed us and thousands of other owners and managers in the untenable position of having to explain to employees and plant neighbors both that we use styrene safely, and that HHS' action is ill-founded and irresponsible,” the Baloghs wrote.
Mar-Bal joins with other composites manufacturers in requesting an NAS study of the HHS action, the Baloghs said.
Mar-Bal employs 44 at its research and development center in Chagrin Falls and another 345 at three other sites, according to Mar-Bal.