Issue Date: July 4, 2011
Styrene Group Challenges Cancer Listing
An industry group representing manufacturers of styrene, an industrial chemical used to make polystyrene and polyester resins found in numerous consumer products, has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health & Human Services for classifying styrene as a “reasonably anticipated carcinogen” (C&EN, June 20, page 11). The Styrene Information & Research Center (SIRC) is challenging the listing of styrene in HHS’s 12th Report on Carcinogens, claiming that it “is contrary to the weight of scientific evidence and opinion and is based primarily on improper and unreviewed information and manipulation of data.” The group has also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction that would require HHS to remove styrene from the cancer warning list during the litigation process. The styrene industry “will suffer irreparable harm if an injunction is not granted because styrene will face swift and extensive deselection in the market that will be difficult or impossible to undo,” SIRC contends. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has granted SIRC’s request for an expedited hearing, set for July 5, on the preliminary injunction.
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