Issue Date: August 3, 2009
Styrene Industry Sues To Stop Prop 65 Listing
The chemical industry has filed a lawsuit that asks the Superior Court of California, in Sacramento, to stop state environmental officials from listing styrene monomer as a "chemical known to cause cancer" under the law known as Proposition 65. The Styrene Information & Research Center, an Arlington, Va.-based trade group, argues that styrene does not cause cancer and that its listing as a carcinogen would stigmatize the $28 billion-per-year industry "by creating a false public perception that styrene and styrene products are dangerous to human health." California's Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly called Proposition 65, requires the state to annually update a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. On June 12, California EPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment proposed listing styrene and 29 other chemicals under Proposition 65. The office cited a 2002 conclusion by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer that styrene is "possibly carcinogenic to humans."
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