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Metabolism and toxicity of styrene.
Environ Health Perspect 1975 Jun; 11:115-119
The absorption, blood chemistry, distribution, excretion, and biotransformation of styrene (100425) are reviewed. Styrene may be absorbed into the blood stream by oral, inhalation, percutaneous, subcutaneous, or intraperitoneal exposure. The most common routes of absorption in industrial exposure are pulmonary and percutaneous. The recommended toxic limit value is 100 parts per million. The absorption rate of liquid styrene through the skin of the hand is 9 to 15 milligrams per square centimeter per hour. Concentrations of styrene found in rodent organs after exposure to the median lethal concentration are highest in the perirenal fat tissue. Blood is about 85 percent cleared of labeled styrene within 24 hours following subcutaneous injection; most of the radioactivity is excreted through the urine as carbon-dioxide. The major metabolite of styrene found in the urine of rodents is hippuric-acid (495692); in humans, the amount of urinary hippuric-acid is in the normal range of excretion. Mandelic-acid (90642) and phenylglyoxylic-acid (611734) are prominent metabolites found in humans. The production of mandelic-acid, phenylglyoxylic-acid, hippuric-acid, and of glucuronide conjugates increases in rats after pretreatment with phenobarbital (50066); coadministration of toluene (108883) reduces the formation of the three acids. The conversion of both styrene- oxide (96093) and styrene to hydroxyphenethylmercapturic-acid occurs in-vivo in rats and rabbits. The acute toxicity of styrene-oxide is about 4 times that of styrene. The most common toxic actions after exposure to styrene vapors or liquid are irritation of the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract and depression of the central nervous system. Chemical pneumonitis is a great hazard if aspiration occurs after ingestion of styrene. Epoxide intermediates have been implicated in hepatotoxicity and carcinogenicity.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Chemical-analysis; Blood-sampling; Biological-effects; Environmental-factors; Radiation-measurement; Radiobiology; Cell-damage; Cell-biology; Analytical-models; Cellular-function
Pharmacology and Therapeutics Department of Pharmacology U of Florida Coll of Medicine Gainesville, Fla 32603
100-42-5; 495-69-2; 90-64-2; 611-73-4; 50-06-6; 108-88-3; 96-09-3
Environmental Health Perspectives
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division