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Why Should You Care?

Styrene is a viscous, highly flammable liquid used worldwide in the production of polymers, which are incorporated into products such as rubber, plastic, insulation, fiberglass, pipes, automobile parts, food containers, and carpet backing. Styrene is regarded as a "hazardous chemical", especially in case of eye contact, but also in case of skin contact, of ingestion and of inhalation. The US EPA has described styrene to be "a suspected toxin to the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, and respiratory system, among others." The Department of Health and Human Services has urged caution particularly for pregnant women and small children, who should consider avoiding the use polystyrene containers and other products that use styrene. The primary use of styrene is in the manufacture of polystyrene, which is used extensively in the manufacture of plastic packaging, thermal insulation in building construction and refrigeration equipment, and disposable cups and containers. Styrene also is used in styrene-butadiene rubber, other polymers, and resins that are used to manufacture boats, shower stalls, tires, automotive parts, and many other products.

Workers in certain occupations are potentially exposed to much higher levels of styrene than the general population. For example, workers who fabricate boats, car and truck parts, tanks, and bath tubs and shower stalls with glass fiber-reinforced polyester composite plastics, may breathe in high levels of styrene in the workplace. Workers may also absorb styrene through the skin. U.S. production of styrene has risen steadily over the past 70 years; with 11.4 billion pounds produced in 2006 (domestic production capacity for 2006 was estimated at 13.7 billion pounds.) The primary way you can be exposed to styrene is by breathing air containing it. Styrene has been detected in human blood, breath, milk, and adipose tissue of the general population and metabolites of styrene have been detected in urine of workers exposed to styrene. Numerous studies have evaluated the relationship between styrene and cancer in humans. Most epidemiological studies are of workers in three major industries: (1) the reinforced-plastics industry, (2) the styrene-butadiene rubber industry, and (3) the styrene monomer and polymer industry. Among the highest styrene-exposed group in the reinforced-plastics industry, there was an excess in the total number of observed cases of pancreatic cancer across the four cohort studies compared with the total number of expected cases Among workers with high potential exposure to styrene, increases in esophageal cancer risk were reported in three of the four cohorts (statistically significant increases in mortality were observed among all exposed workers in the two U.S. studies of reinforcedplastics workers a statistically nonsignificant increase among a subset of laminators in the European cohort. Significantly increased risks were observed for cancers of the lung, larynx, stomach, benign neoplasms, cervix and other female tumors, prostate, rectum, and urinary system in either a single study or two studies. There were some supporting exposure-response data for cancers of the urinary system and rectum. A significant association between mortality from epilepsy and duration of styrene exposure was found. A significant increase in breast cancer mortality was observed in a case-control study of occupational exposures among adult females, although there was no evidence of increased risk between low- and high-exposure categories. An ecological study reported a significant increase in the risk of invasive breast cancer in the general population, but exposure estimates were based on environmental releases of styrene, which are the least precise measures of exposure.

Proven and Probable Carcinogens

On 10 June 2011, the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) described styrene as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen". NTP scientists believe styrene metabolizes when it comes in contact with the human body, bonding with oxygen to form styrene oxide, a chemical that has the ability to alter DNA and cause cancer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that styrene is a possible carcinogen. Numerous epidemiological studies have evaluated the relationship between styrene and cancer in humans. Most of the studies are cohort studies of workers in three major industries: (1) the reinforced-plastics industry, (2) the styrene-butadiene rubber industry, and (3) the styrene monomer and polymer industry.

Cancer mortality or incidence was studied in the following four populations of reinforced-plastics workers: (1) in Washington state and (2) in 30 manufacturing plants in unspecified U.S. locations), (3) in Denmark and (4) in Europe. In the styrene-butadiene industry, the cohort studies are among the largest, with the longest follow-up times. The principal methodological challenge is to separate the potentially independent or synergistic effects of butadiene, a known human carcinogen, which is highly correlated with styrene in this industry. Statistically significant increases were observed for all lymphohematopoietic cancers combined and leukemia among rubber-tire manufacturing workers. According to the EPA, Leukemias are the primary type of cancer induced by chemical agents. Taking into account butadiene exposure, and demographic and employment variables in step-down regression analyses, these models found, for an average exposure of 1 ppm vs. no exposure, significant associations for all lymphohematopoietic cancers combined, lymphomas, and myeloma, but not leukemia. For cumulative exposure, significant positive associations between styrene exposure and combined lymphohematopoietic cancers, leukemia, and myeloma were found, with butadiene exposure dropping out of each of the final models except for leukemia. Increased risks for leukemia, lymphoma, or all lymphohematopoietic cancer were found among styrene-exposed workers in both the reinforced-plastics and styrene-butadiene rubber industries.

Styrene can be found in air, soil, and water after release from the manufacture, use, and disposal of styrene-based products. Styrene is quickly broken down in the air, usually within 12 days. Releases of styrene into the air occur from: industries using or manufacturing styrene automobile exhaust cigarette smoke, and use of photocopiers Rural or suburban air generally contains lower concentrations of styrene than urban air. Indoor air often contains higher levels of styrene than outdoor air. 0.064.6 parts per billion (ppb) in outdoor air 0.0711.5 ppb in indoor air Styrene is occasionally detected in groundwater, drinking water, or soil samples. Drinking water containing styrene or bathing in water containing styrene may expose you to low levels of this chemical. A large number of workers are potentially exposed to styrene. The highest potential exposure occurs in the reinforced-plastics industry, where workers may be exposed to high air concentrations and also have dermal exposure to liquid styrene or resins. Workers involved in styrene polymerization, rubber manufacturing, and styrene-polyester resin facilities and workers at photocopy centers may also be exposed to styrene. Low levels of styrene occur naturally in a variety of foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beverages, and meats. Small amounts of styrene can be transferred to food from styrene-based packaging material.

Styrene is a high production chemical and the American Chemistry Council estimated nearly 9 billion pounds of styrene were made in the United States alone in 2010. The production capacity for styrene in the United States in recent years was over 12 billion pounds. Styrene has been identified in at least 251 of the 1,699 hazardous waste sites that have been proposed for inclusion on the EPA National Priorities List (NPL) However, the number of sites evaluated for styrene is not known. Exposure to styrene from hazardous waste sites is potentially important, but the magnitude of the problem is unknown. Emissions of styrene from building materials (carpets, floor tiles, insulation), office copiers, and consumer products (disinfectants, plastics, paint, cigarettes) may contribute significantly to indoor air pollution. Past and current manufacturers of styrene include BP Amoco Corp., Chevron Chemical Corp., Cos-Mar, Inc., Dow Chemical USA, Huntsman Chemical Corp., Lyondell Chemical Co., NOVA Chemicals, Inc., Sterling Chemicals, Inc., and Westlake Styrene Corp. Styrene is a widely used industrial chemical with reported atmospheric emissions greater than 51 million pounds annually in the United States . Styrene ranked 16th among air emissions for reported chemicals and chemical group compounds in the United States in 2005. Estimated releases of 47.3 million pounds (21,500 metric tons) of styrene to the atmosphere from 1,558 domestic manufacturing and processing facilities in 2006, accounted for 93% of the estimated total from reported environmental releases from TRI facilitates. Styrene photodegrades in the atmosphere, with a half-life ranging between 7 and 16 hours. Small amounts of styrene are naturally present in foods such as legumes, beef, clams, eggs, nectarines, and spices. It can also be present in packaged foods by migration from polystyrene food containers and packaging materials. Styrene is a combustion product of cigarette smoke and automobile exhaust. Manufactured styrene is primarily used in the production of polystyrene plastics and resins used principally for insulation or in the fabrication of fiberglass boats; production of copolymers such as styrene-acrylonitrile and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, which are used to manufacture piping, automotive components, and plastic drinking glasses; production of styrene- butadiene rubber used to manufacture car tires, hoses for industrial purposes, and shoes; or formulated with unsaturated polyester resins used as fiberglass reinforcement materials. Styrene copolymers are also frequently used in liquid toner for photocopiers and printers.

A large number of workers are potentially exposed to styrene. NIOSH estimates that approximately 300,000 workers at 22,000 facilities may be exposed to styrene (NIOSH 1990); about 30,000 of these on a full-time basis and about 86,000 are females. The highest potential exposure occurs in the reinforced-plastics industry, where workers may be exposed to high air concentrations and also have dermal exposure to liquid styrene or resins The principal sources of styrene releases to water are industrial effluents. Styrene has been detected in effluents from chemical, textile, latex, and coal gasification plants. Styrene is not frequently found in U.S. water supplies. Styrene was not detected in any of the >1,000 samples of drinking water analyzed during three federal surveys (EPA 1985a), but had been reported occasionally in drinking water supplies in several states. However, groundwater at hazardous waste sites where styrene has been detected may provide significant exposure to styrene if used as a local water supply. Large amounts of styrene are produced in the United States. Small amounts are produced naturally by plants, bacteria, and fungi. Styrene is also present in combustion products such as cigarette smoke and automobile exhaust. Styrene is widely used to make plastics and rubber. Consumer products containing styrene include: packaging materials insulation for electrical uses (i.e., wiring and appliances) insulation for homes and other buildings fiberglass, plastic pipes, automobile parts drinking cups and other "food-use" items carpet backing

Polystyrene in the form of the incorrectly named Styrofoam has the potential to leach into your food and then into you. The migration of styrene from a polystyrene cup into the beverage it contains has been observed to be as high as 0.025% for a single use. That means if you drink beverages from polystyrene cups four times a day for three years, you may have consumed about one foam cup's worth of styrene along with your beverages. Styrene migration has been shown to be partially dependent on the fat content of the food in the polystyrene cups/containersthe higher the fat content, the higher the migration into the food. Therefore, entrees, soups, or beverages that are higher in will suck more of the styrene out of the polystyrene container than, say, water. Some compounds found in beverages, like alcohol or the acids in "tea with lemon," may also raise the styrene migration rate. Styrene also appears to migrate more quickly when foods or drinks are hot. It has also been suggested that the citric acid in lemon juice may cause polystyrene to break down Studies suggest that styrene mimics estrogen in the body and can therefore disrupt normal hormone functions, possibly contributing to thyroid problems, menstrual irregularities, and other hormone-related problems, as well as breast cancer and prostate cancer. The estrogenicity of styrene is thought to be comparable to that of Bisphenol A, another potent estrogen mimic from the world of plastics. The EPA National Human Adipose Tissue Survey for 1986 identified styrene residues in 100% of all samples of human fat tissue taken in 1982 in the US. Polystyrene Food Containers and Related Applications

Non-Food Applications of Polystyrene

coffee cups soup bowls and salad boxes foam egg cartons; produce & meat trays

packing "peanuts" foam inserts that cushion new appliances and electronics television and computer cabinets

disposable utensils

compact disc "jewel boxes" and audiocassette cases

Although polystyrene can be recycled at recycling facilities, most polystyrene is not recycled. The EPA estimates that 25 billion polystyrene cups are tossed every year. Since polystyrene degrades very slowly - more than 100 years for a single cup [the EPA considers this a serious environmental problem. Here is some advice on Styrofoam containers from 1. Use ceramic plates, bowls, and mugs/cups whenever possible. If you can't do that, choose paper over polystyrene. 2. Never microwave or heat food in polystyrene containers. 3. If a supermarket item came in polystyrene packaging, consider transferring it to a non-plastic container until you're ready to cook or eat it. Glass, ceramic, or porcelain containers, bowls or plates are preferable for food storage. If you can choose food products that don't come in polystyrene containers in the first place, so much the better. (And remember that most restaurant "doggie bags" are really polystyrene food containers.) 4. Buy food in glass containers when possible. For non-glass-packaged items, buy the larger sizes, where the surface contact between the contents to the container is reduced. Migration from foam food containers into food is not the only way we can get an unwanted intake of styrene. Other sources include: dental fillings agricultural products food additives breathed-in fumes from some protective coatings, glues and adhesives polluted air or cigarette smoke

Pollution History
The production of styrene in the United States increased dramatically during the 1940s, when it was popularized as a feedstock for synthetic rubber. Styrene-induced neurotoxicity has been reported in workers since the 1970s. Studies over the last 15 years have firmly established the central nervous system as the critical target of toxicity. In an international study of styrene workers in 1996, a significant association between mortality from central nervous system disease and cumulative styrene exposure was found. A significant association between mortality from epilepsy and duration of styrene exposure was found. Time since first exposure was also significantly associated with mortality from epilepsy.

Most information on the effects of inhalation exposure to styrene in humans comes from studies of workers exposed to styrene vapors in the production and use of plastics and resins, especially polyester resins dissolved in styrene. In most cases, the studies involve workplace exposures such as fiberglass boat building factories where the actual levels of styrene are reported as a range of styrene air concentrations. However, there are a few human clinical studies in which exposures are better quantified. A common limitation of many of the occupational exposure studies is the phenomenon of the healthy worker effect. The selection of healthy individuals for employment and the likelihood that more susceptible workers are more likely to leave the workforce can result

in workers who are healthier than the general population. This type of bias typically affects comparisons with the general population and is less likely to influence comparisons with other groups of workers.

The most common health problems in workers exposed to styrene involve the nervous system. These health effects include changes in color vision, tiredness, feeling drunk, slowed reaction time, concentration problems, and balance problems. Color vision appears to be one of the more sensitive targets of styrene toxicity, with many studies reporting alterations. Several studies found improvements in color vision following an extended period of no styrene exposure or lower exposure. Hearing loss has been observed in animals exposed to very high Hearing loss has been observed in animals exposed to very high concentrations of styrene. Animal studies have shown that inhalation of styrene can result in changes in the lining of the nose and damage to the liver; however, animals may be more sensitive than humans to the nose and liver effects. Sperm damage has also been observed in rats exposed to high doses of styrene

Chronic exposure to styrene leads to tiredness/lethargy, memory deficits, headaches and vertigo A variety of neurological effects have been observed in chronically exposed styrene workers; these effects include decreased color discrimination, vestibular effects, hearing impairment, symptoms of neurotoxicity, particularly feeling drunk and tiredness, delays in reaction time, impaired performance on tests measuring attention and memory, increased vibration perception thresholds, impaired nerve conduction velocity, and EEG alterations. Results of a meta-analysis suggest that the severity of the some of the neurological symptoms increases with exposure duration. There are several epidemiologic studies of workers at styrene manufacturing and polymerization facilities and reinforced plastics facilities that suggest an association between occupational exposure in styrene. and an increased incidence of cancer of the lymphatic and hematopoietic tissues. However, the reported studies are inconclusive due to exposure to multiple chemicals (including benzene) and the small size of the cohorts. Other studies have reported negative results. More consistent results for increases in the risk of lymphatic and hematopoietic cancers have been observed among workers at styrene-butadiene manufacturing facilities. There is suggestive evidence that these increased risks may be due to exposure to 1,3butadiene rather styrene exposure; however, it is difficult to separate the risks for styrene and 1,3-butadiene because the exposure is highly correlated. Although several epidemiology studies have examined potential reproductive effects in male and female styrene workers, adequate analysis of the data is limited by the lack of exposure information and concomitant exposure to other compounds. Mixed results have been found for increased occurrence of spontaneous abortions and disrupted menstrual cycles. In male workers, sperm abnormalities have been reported but not alterations in time-to-pregnancy or fertility rates. Studies in workers have examined whether styrene can cause birth defects or low birth weight; however, the results are inconclusive. No birth defects were observed in animal studies. Nursing infants can be exposed to styrene from breast milk. There are no studies evaluating the effect of styrene exposure on children or immature animals. It is likely that children would have the same health effects as adults. We do not know whether children would be more sensitive than adults to the effects of styrene.

Diagnosis and Testing

Styrene can be measured in blood, urine, and body tissues for a short time following exposure to moderate-to-high levels. The presence of styrene breakdown products (metabolites) in urine might indicate that you were exposed to styrene; however, these metabolites can also form when you are exposed to other substances. Measuring styrene metabolites in urine within 1 day of exposure allows medical personnel to estimate actual exposure level. The detection of these metabolites in your urine cannot be used to predict the kind of health effects that might develop from that exposure. When you breathe air containing styrene, most of the styrene will rapidly enter your body through your lungs. Styrene in food or water may also rapidly enter your body through the digestive tract. A very small amount may enter through your skin when you come into contact with liquids containing styrene. Once in your body, styrene is broken down into other chemicals. Most of these other chemicals leave your body in the urine within few days.

Human exposure to styrene may occur by inhalation, ingestion, or dermal contact. General recommendations for reducing absorption of styrene following exposure include removing the exposed individual from the contaminated area and removing the contaminated clothing. If the eyes and skin were exposed, they should be flushed with water. Since aspiration of styrene into the lung can cause pulmonary edema and hemorrhage, some authors advise against the use of emetics, but recommend administration of water for dilution of gastric lavage. Following acute inhalation exposure, administration of oxygen and use of mechanical ventilation to support respiration have been suggested. Administration of aminophylline and inhaled bronchodilators may be required to treat bronchospasm. Furthermore, cardiac monitoring has been suggested. Supportive treatment may be needed for neurological effects of styrene exposure. Styrene is metabolized by the body, and most styrene that is absorbed is excreted in the urine as metabolites of the parent compound. Styrene is cleared rapidly from the human body. Its half-life is several hours in the blood and about 24 days in subcutaneous adipose tissue. No method is commonly used to enhance the elimination of the absorbed dose of styrene.

Styrene is a hazardous substance found in the workplace with much lower levels found in the environment. Therefore, the populations at risk are workers in industries making polystyrene plastics, coating, polyester resins, and other products. Although no populations of unusually susceptible individuals have been identified for styrene, based on the targets of styrene toxicity, an assumption can be made that persons with pre-existing respiratory or neurological problems would be at risk for the irritant action and central nervous system effects of styrene, respectively.

Styrene is a colorless liquid that evaporates easily. In its pure form, styrene has a sweet smell. Manufactured styrene may contain aldehydes, which give it a sharp, unpleasant odor.

In July 2011 the Department of Health and Human Services NTP declared that there was limited epidemiological evidence of association with human cancers and styrene. The industry immediately challenged the 12th Report on Carcinogens in court. NTP won the first round when a federal judge said he would not grant the trade group Styrene Research Information Centers request for an injunction that would have revoked the styrene report. The EPA has determined that exposure to styrene in drinking water at concentrations of 20 ppm for 1 day or 2 ppm for 10 days is not expected to cause any adverse effects in a child. The EPA has determined that lifetime exposure to 0.1 ppm styrene in drinking water is not expected to cause any adverse effects. The FDA has determined that the styrene concentration in bottled drinking water should not exceed 0.1 ppm. OSHA set a legal limit of 100 ppm styrene in air averaged over an 8-hour work day.

According to Clean Water Action, The California proposed Public Health Goal (PHG), which is based solely on scientific evidence regarding public health outcomes, for styrene in drinking water is 0.5 ppb. The PHG for styrene is much lower than the EPAs Maximum Concentration Limit for styrene of 100 ppb, which reflects technological and economic considerations. In 2009, OEHHA proposed that styrene be listed under Proposition 65 as a known human carcinogen. The $28 billion styrene industry launched a legal challenge in California district court. The judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, overruling the proposed listing as a carcinogen, on the basis of costs associated with regulating the chemical, not on the basis of the human health impact or inadequacy of the science.

Map Distribution
The government currently shows 1175 Toxic Release Inventory sites emitting styrene in the lower 49 states along with 69 National Priority List (Superfund) sites as shown on the map below:

US Map of Styrene Toxic Release Inventory and Superfund Sites Overlain to Bladder Cancer Death Rates in Males (Bluer colors are higher rates)

Case Studies

Calif. Map of Styrene Toxic Release Inventory and Superfund Sites

Overlain to Leukemia Death Rates in Males (Bluer colors are higher rates)

Calif. Map of Styrene Toxic Release Inventory and Superfund Sites Overlain to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Death Rates in Males (Bluer colors are higher rates)

CASMALIA, SANTA BARBARA CO, The Casmalia Resources Superfund Site (Site), formerly the Casmalia Resources Hazardous Waste Management Facility, is an approximately 252-acre, inactive commercial hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility located in Santa Barbara County, California. This Site is located 10 miles southwest of the City of Santa Maria, 1.2 miles north of the Town of Casmalia, and four miles from the Pacific Ocean. The town in 1985 had a population of about 175 people which has since dwindled to about 135 in the 2010 census and nearly half were Hispanic or Latino.

Aerial View of Casmalia Disposal Site in 1985

This toxic landfill complex is one of the largest waste sites in the country. Between 1973 and 1989, the Casmalia Disposal Site took in approximately 5.6 billion pounds of waste material from more than 10,000 businesses and government agencies. It includes six landfills, 43 hazardous waste ponds, disposal trenches, injection wells, waste spreading areas, and tank treatment systems. The Facilitys owner(s)/operator(s) accepted a wide variety of industrial and commercial wastes including but not limited to petroleum wastes, organic chemicals (like Styrene and Butadiene), petroleum solvents, paint sludge, infectious

wastes, septic tank pumping, and sewage sludge, pesticides, acids, metals, cyanide, non-liquid polychlorinated biphenyls, and regulated wastes. All ponds were unlined and constructed in native claystone. For the purpose of accelerating evaporation of the content of the ponds, liquids were often sprayed into the air. The county stopped the process in 1985, when it was linked to odors in the community.

Aerial View of Casmalia Disposal Ponds An odor problem at the site first became apparent in December 1984, when the principal of Casmalia Elementary School closed the school because of strong odors that were suspected to be coming from the facility. Investigations performed by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (SBCAPCD) and CDHS identified Pond 3 at the facility as the source of these odors. The odors were subjectively characterized as a rotten egg and permanent wave solution type of smell. Although an exact number of total odor complaints about the site could not be ascertained through site documents, CDHS believes that between 1984 and 1986, at a minimum, several thousand odor complaints were filed with state and county regulatory agencies. In addition to odors, residents of Casmalia reported seeing brown clouds emanating from the site on several occasions during the same time when odors were present. When asked about the origin of the brown clouds, former employees confirm that vapor clouds occasionally occurred when trucks unloaded incompatible liquid wastes into the holding ponds. Facing multiple enforcement actions, the Facilitys owner(s)/operator(s) stopped taking waste material in 1989. In the early 1990s, the owner(s)/operator(s) abandoned efforts to properly close and clean up the Site. In 1992, the State of California asked the U.S. EPA to respond to deteriorating site conditions. At that time, conditions at the Site presented imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment. From 1992 to 1996, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used Superfund authorities to take emergency actions to stabilize the various waste management or treatment facilities on the Site. These actions included installing and operating systems for collecting, treating, and disposing of contaminated subsurface liquids, controlling the flow of storm water, and stabilizing the landfills.The EPA has documented the release and threatened release of many organic and inorganic compounds into the soil, groundwater, and air at the site. Some geologists originally believed that the shallow layer of soil and fractured low-waterbearing rock that overlies the Casmalia Hills had no connection to the deep water of the Santa Maria and San Antonio Water basins, from which the towns of Casmalia, Santa Maria, and Tanglewood draw their water . However, to date, no study has definitively proven that the groundwater present beneath the site is completely disconnected from the Santa Maria and San Antonio Water basins. Although the possibility is remote, it is possible that a continuous chain of fractures below the Casmalia Hills may allow the migration of contaminants to reach the lower water basins/

View of Casmalia Cap above Drainage Lake

The nearest streams to the site are Casmalia Creek, approximately 500 feet west of the site, and an unnamed stream located 750 to 1,000 feet northeast of the site. One mile south of the site, Casmalia Creek drains to join Shuman Creek, which flows west 4 miles into the Pacific Ocean. Another unnamed stream located to the east of the site drains southward and joins Shuman Creek about 2,500 feet north of the town of Casmalia. A man-made pond is about 3,000 feet northwest of the site in the Casmalia Creek valley. The pond is apparently used for agricultural purposes; it has been constructed by placing an earthen dam across an entrenched part of Casmalia Creek. The pond measures approximately 100 feet in diameter and is approximately 6 feet deep. Both Casmalia Creek and Shuman Creek are known to be accessed by recreationists and children. Although the creeks are not commonly known to be popular swimming areas, local residents have said children do occasionally swim or wade in the water. Many of the site activities are monitored with a handheld photoionization detector (PID) to protect workers from toxic vapors After the construction of the cap for the pesticide/solvent landfill cap portion in 2000, USEPA deemed that the cover system in its initial configuration was unacceptable and corrective actions were taken to address construction deficiencies. The PCB landfill remains uncapped and will presumably be capped as part of future remedial activities at the site. Styrene and 1,3 butadiene are found in combination and were listed as chemicals of concern for both onsite and offsite soil vapor intrusion. For hypothetical off-site residential exposures to off-site soil, sediment and soil vapor, only the vapor intrusion pathway resulted in a marginally elevated risk estimate. The primary risk driver for this pathway was 1,3-butadiene. The community members main exposure concern was about the safety of the communitys drinking water. A source for much of these fears was from a resident of nearby Santa Maria, Les Conrad, who published a book on the contamination of the drinking water supply by the facility. In the book, Desperate Measures: The Tragedy of Santa Maria California, he purported to have several water samples taken from various public portals that showed evidence of PCB contamination. Community members who spoke to CDHS believed the assertions in the book that their municipal well has been/is contaminated by chemicals from the site. Because of this fear, many residents drink filtered or bottled water. UNOCAL operates the municipal drinking water well for the town of Casmalia. Residents would like this well tested by someone other than Unocal and tested more frequently to ensure that it is not contaminated. In general, there is a low level of trust of Unocal. Residents stated that this lack of trust has caused some mental stress in the community. Residents also wanted to know if they could be affected by contaminated groundwater via vapor migration from the site. Specific health concerns raised by the community included liver cancer, blood disorders, and other diseases. Liver cancer was cited as a community concern because several cases have occurred in the community. There was also mention that some community members had both contracted and died from blood disorders, but no specifics were forthcoming. Miscarriages,

frequent nosebleeds, itching skin, anxiety, non-malignant cysts, migraine headaches, diabetes, and cancer were cited as health effects believed to be attributable to the site. Residents are dismayed that some community members have moved away because of their health concerns. On the basis of these concerns, both the county and state initiated several studies in the mid-1980s to investigate the impact the facility may be having on the local communities, including the populations of the town of Casmalia, Tanglewood, Orcutt, and Santa Maria. The results of these studies were inconclusive; it could not be determined whether the exposure may have resulted in health effects. CDHS determined that past exposures (1973 1986) to vapors from the site posed a public health hazard for those living in the town of Casmalia, as well as for local ranchers while the landfill was operating. Modeled concentrations, based on air samples taken on site suggest the presence of contaminants in the Casmalia community at levels above health concern. Hydrogen sulfide alone was detected in the community at nearly 1,000 times above the health comparison value. However, because of a lack of relevant data that characterizes the duration of the exposure, it is not possible to determine if adverse health effects would be expected. In 1999, the U.S. EPA estimated total response costs at this Site to be $284 million. To date EPA has settled with over 1,150 Casmalia Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) EPA refers to these as "Cashout" settlements, because under the settlement terms the PRPs pay into an account to finance the work. The remaining parties include the former owners and operators and customers that are referred to as major waste generators. Claiming bankruptcy, the owner ceased closure work and all facility maintenance in 1992. Hunter Resources, the owner/operator settled for a mere $7 million after reportedly making $40 million during the years of operation. These settlements have generated over $110 million in funding for response actions at the Site.


Texas Map of Styrene Toxic Release Inventory and Superfund Sites Overlain to Liver Cancer Death Rates in Males (Bluer colors are higher rates)

Texas Map of Styrene Toxic Release Inventory and Superfund Sites Overlain to Liver Disease Death Rates in Males (Bluer colors are higher rates)

Kelly AFB
Kelly AFB formerly occupied approximately 4,000 acres on the Southwest side of San Antonio. The base, originally founded in 1916, became the first Air Force base in the country in 1940 and over the years became the longest continually operated Air Force Base until it closed on July 13, 2001. During the Korean and Vietnam wars it became a major hub for Air Force maintenance work and storage. It employed, at its peak, some 25,000 civilian workers while handling 50 percent of the Air Forces engine maintenance. Because of past waste management practices at Kelly AFB, some areas of the Base are known or suspected to be impacted by various hazardous substances, pollutants, contaminants, or wastes, including metals, VOCs, and SVOCs. The San Antonio Examiner reported that at its peak the AFB was generating more than 250,000 tons of toxic waste per year in close proximity to the neighboring Hispanic communities. The site complex included landfills, spill sites, former fire training areas, low-level radioactive waste sites, underground storage tanks, aircraft maintenance areas, sludge lagoons, sludge-spreading beds, and range sites (which is a small arms range). There were also 334 sites that required some type of investigation, these included: container storage areas, wash racks, drains, oil/water separators, silver recovery units and spill sites. There were approximately 360 sites that had underground storage tanks, aboveground storage tanks or tanks that had previously been removed.

Source: ATSDR PHA 1999

Source: ATSDR PHA 1999 Map of Airborne Plume Extending Beyond Kelly AFB

Source: ATSDR PHA 1999 Map of Cumulative Health Risks at Kelly AFB For nearly a hundred years, workers at the former Kelly AFB cleaned, refueled and repainted military aircraft, from the earliest biplanes to the C-5 Galaxy cargo jets. During the servicing of these planes, a considerable amount of fuels and chemicals spilled, contaminating the soil and a shallow aquifer a couple of dozen feet below ground.

Source: ATSDR PHA 1999 Map of Contaminated Groundwater Plume Extending Beyond Kelly AFB Contaminated groundwater has migrated approximately 6 miles off-site to the East and Southeast at concentrations above health-base limits; however the affected shallow aquifer is not used as a source of drinking water in the vicinity of the facility. One of the routes of exposure, through which residents came into contact with the contaminated water in the shallow aquifer, which lies 5 to 30 feet below their homes, came from the many shallow wells illegally dug in the neighborhoods adjacent to the base. Some 75 of these wells have been capped by the Air Force over the last decade. To date the Air Force has spent $320.4 million on environmental investigation and cleanup at Kelly AFB and Air Force has so far spent $320.4 million on environmental investigation and cleaning up the mess, building water treatment plants, installing barriers and filters, and hauling away contaminated soil. That price tag could reportedly rise to $465 million by 2024.

Source: ATSDR PHA 1999 Maps of Cancer Index (by Zip Code) Around Kelly AFB

The contamination spread beneath the base and under the houses of an estimated 22,000 to 30,000 residents of surrounding homes and businesses in three separate plumes. Many residents feared that their cancers and other health problems were related to the plumes as they watched their property values plummet. A health survey in 1997 found that "91% of the adults and 79% of the children are suffering multiple illnesses" ranging from ear, nose and throat conditions to central nervous system disorders, anemia, elevated asthma rates and over 120 cases of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). In 1999 ATSDR reported a "Public Health Assessment" of the neighborhoods around Kelly. "ZIP Code area 78237 had elevations in the number of low birth weight babies and children born with specific birth defects two to three times higher than expected. Studies conducted since 1999 have identified high rates of liver cancer around the base as being of particular concern. The liver cancer rate is about double the expected rate and has remained so over the past ten years. One report suggests that 500 cases of liver cancer have been diagnosed among residents who live near Kelly AFB since 1995. But liver cancer rates are high throughout Bexar County, and the government and researchers insist residents had little or no exposure to the contamination. Nevertheless, in 2010, the federal government settled a lawsuit filed by almost 400 people who had lived near the base for $1 million.

Arkansas Boat Builders

As Shown on the US Map above, Arkansas ranks among the top ten states for number of boat building operations. These appear to have had a significant impact on the health of the surrounding communities and could have had similar impacts in other states.

According to the 2004 Statistics of U.S. Businesses, 51,409 workers were employed in the boat manufacturing industry in the US (most involved in the fiber-reinforced plastic boat production), with 26,633 in firms of 500 employees or less. Styrene is a fugitive emission, which evaporates from resins, gel coats, solvents, and surface coatings used in the manufacturing process. Due to the volatility of styrene, vapors from the application and curing process may pose an inhalation exposure hazard for workers near the process. Styrene and methyl methacrylate (MMA) are the primary Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emitted from fiberglass boat manufacturing materials. Based on the 2002 National Emissions Inventory (NEI) database, scorecard estimated that there are 223 fiberglass boat manufacturing facilities in the U.S. Using the April 2004 ozone nonattainment designations, 91 of these facilities are in ozone nonattainment areas. They estimated that 67 of the 91 facilities in ozone nonattainment areas emitted VOC at or above the recommended 15-lb/day VOC emissions applicability threshold. These 67 facilities, in aggregate, emit about 1,601 tons per year (tpy)) of VOC per year, or an average of about 24 tpy of VOC per facility. Workers employed in the manufacture of fiber-reinforced plastic boats are exposed to variable concentrations of styrene, depending on the particular functions to which they are assigned. Gel coating and lamination usually involve the highest potential styrene exposure. In one study in Italy, Gel coaters, defined as those workers who dedicated at least 20% of their time to gel coating, were exposed to styrene concentrations ranging between 351 and 1,389 mg/m 3 (326 ppm). Workers employed in lamination, rolling, and assembling for at least 50% of their time were exposed to concentrations ranging between 86 and 660 mg/m 3. Styrene emissions can be reduced by (1) using resin materials and application equipment that generate lower styrene emissions, (2) improving operator techniques to reduce overspray, (3) changing from open- to closed-molding processes, and (4) using add-on emission control devices. In 2001, EPA promulgated the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Boat Manufacturing. The industry naturally objected on the grounds that boat builders limit styrene emissions exposure with protective gear, monitoring equipment, ventilation systems and enclosures around work processes. In addition, Respirators are supposedly always used in gelcoat facilities. Styrene inhalation over longer periods of time such as in the boat building occupations may cause central nervous system effects including headache, fatigue, weakness, and depression. Exposure may also damage peripheral nerves and cause changes to the kidneys and blood. Numerous studies have shown that styrene exposures were linked to central and peripheral neurologic, optic, and irritant effects when occupational exposures to styrene vapors in air were measured at concentrations greater than 50 parts per million (ppm). There is also evidence concerning the influence of occupational styrene exposure on sensory nerve conduction indicating that: (1) 5% to 10% reductions can occur after exposure at 100 ppm or more; (2) reduced peripheral nerve conduction velocity and sensory

amplitude can occur after styrene exposure at 50 to 100 ppm; (3) slowed reaction time appears to begin after exposures as low as 50 ppm; and, (4) statistically significant loss of color discrimination. (dyschromatopsia) may occur. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) revised its Threshold Limit Value (TLV ) in 1997, and recommends styrene be controlled to 20 ppm for an 8-hour Time-weighted average (TWA) exposure with a 40 ppm, 15-minute shortterm exposure limit (STEL.) The chart below shows the products in a boat building operation which contain styrene along with the percentage styrene content.

Chart showing Hazardous Air Pollutant Emissions from the Boat Building Industry
In 2005, an Arkansas boat builder applied for an emissions permit and revealed some of the anticipated pollutant levels excerpted below. Venom Boats Inc. operates a boat manufacturing facility located in Mountain Home, Arkansas (Baxter County). The boat manufacturing process utilizes laminating techniques involving various coatings; the major components are styrene based

gelcoats and resins. This permit action was initiated by the facility to incorporate an increase (from 38% to 42%) in styrene content allowed for the clear coat gelcoat.

Estimated hourly emissions from the following sources were compared to the Presumptively Acceptable Emission Rate (PAER) for each compound. The Department deemed PAER to be the product, in lb/hr, of 0.11 and the Threshold Limit Value (mg/m3), as listed by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). Ranger Boats is one of the largest Boat Builders in the region. The Toxic Release Inventory shows that nearly 95 % of their emissions are Styrene and they released about a quarter million pounds of styrene per year in 2008

In previous years Ranger Boats have released even more styrene as shown below (in red):
Chemical 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999

Methyl methacryl ate Styrene Toluene


14,17 9 238,9 67 1998

15,922. 30 296,68 5 1997

18,708.2 0 293,008. 90 1996

19,511 273,19 5 1995

25,17 2 247,8 02 1994

21,04 0 245,2 78 13,72 5 1993

21,137.8 0 230,683. 20 1992

16,75 4 215,4 31 1991

17,19 4 252,9 47 8,852 1990

13,63 9 240,5 83 12,39 8 1989

Methyl methacryl ate Styrene Toluene

5,121 85,12 5 13,73 6

4,974 78,905 17,896

8,416 81,396 13,631

299,42 2 14,141

272,7 51 9,681

40,80 9 -

61,446 -

16,30 7 -

44,65 5 22,37 2

24,84 0 -

Ranger Boats also submitted an emissions permit request in Arkansas in 2003 which stated, The major components of the laminations are styrene based resins and gel coats. The facility exceeds 100 tons per year of VOC [including styrene] and over 25 tons per year of combined HAPs.

Air dispersion modeling was performed on the estimated hourly emissions from the following sources, in order to predict ambient concentrations beyond the property boundary. The Presumptively Acceptable Impact Level (PAIL) for each compound was deemed by the Department to be one one-hundredth of the Threshold Limit Value, as listed by the ACGIH.

These models indicate that the boat builders were aware of their emissions beyond their property boundaries and over the years they have installed equipment and adopted new processes and procedures to reduce those impacts. Yet for many, the damage has already been done.

All of the boat builders in Arkansas (and most of the US) claim to have significantly reduced their emissions of hazardous air pollutants, like styrene, in recent years. However, we have to ask, What have been the long term health impacts to these rural communities of the use of hundreds of thousands of tons per month of toxic resins and gel coats by these facilities? One way to begin to answer this question is to examine the death rates in the counties nearest to the operations. We have selected mortalities among males because these are the most common workers at these plants. While we do not know that the boat building industry in Arkansas is the cause of these high cancer rates, it is reasonable to assume that they may be a contributing factor,

According to Scorecard in 2002:

In all of the Cancer Risk and Disease Risk maps below, the darker blue counties in Arkansas represent the highest risk for cancer relative to the rest of the counties in the US.

N. Ark S. Missouri Map of Styrene Toxic Release Inventory Sites Note: All three are Boat Building Facilities


LA. MIS. Map of Styrene Toxic Release Inventory and Superfund Sites Overlain to Bladder Cancer Death Rates in Males (Bluer colors are higher rates)

Chemfax Inc. is an active chemical processing plant in Gulfport, Harrison County, Mississippi. Chemfax began producing petroleum hydrocarbon resins at the 11-acre property in 1955, before which Alpine Masonite operated chemical process facilities on the property. Facilities are principally raw materials storage tanks and process units. Ponds and drainage ditches also are present.

Index Map for Gulfport MS

Scorecard US hazard ranking (pre-cleanup) In a 2009 Health Assessment, ATSDR concluded that the site poses a public health hazard based on the evidence that exposures to contaminants at concentrations that may cause adverse health effects have occurred in the past, might be occurring now, or are likely to occur in the future. Workers at the site were exposed to several PAHs in surface soil and sediments, and to benzene, methylene chloride, and styrene in air at levels of public health concern. It is possible that those workers may experience mild headaches, nausea and minor skin irritations because of exposure to high levels of PAHs in surface soil and sediments; mild decrease in immune function because of exposure to benzene in ambient air; and decrease in verbal learning skills because of exposure to styrene in air. Moreover, workers exposed to the highest concentrations of PAHs in surface soil and sediments or to benzene and methylene chloride in air might have a low increased risk of developing cancer in their lifetime. Any children who practice soil-pica behavior and live within the immediate vicinity of Chemfax have no apparent increased risk of developing cancer because of exposure to the low concentrations of PAHs reported in off-site surface soils. Potential routes for human exposure include ambient air, surface water and edible fish from the Industrial Seaway, groundwater, well water, and public supply water.

Packing material, synthetic resin mixtures, and paper pallets were disposed of in a county landfill until 1981; the company reportedly then began drumming waste resin mixtures and storing them on site. However, a former employee reported to ATSDR he helped dispose of "wastes" off site at Bernard Bayou in the mid-1970s. This report suggests multiple disposal methods have existed at the site. In 1988, EPA observed several open drums stacked on their sides containing a white, waxy material and labeled as containing waste paraffin. Past inspections and records indicate that drummed wastes include a resin mixture that contains polycyclopentadiene, polyhexadiene, polystyrene, and polyvinyl toluene. Residents and officials attending public availability meetings raised the following health-related concerns: 1. Intermittent chemical odors at their residences and in the vicinities of Bellaire and Harrison Central 9th Grade Schools and Orange Grove Elementary School; 2. Headaches, sinus, and hearing disorders and memory loss;

3. 4. 5. and 6.

Leukemia, breast cancer, and other cancers; Respiratory problems including asthma; One resident's long -term blood platelet disorder that the physician said is related to exposure to benzene from the site; Water quality in the Industrial Seaway and other surface water.

ATSDR sampled ambient air quality in 1990, Five chemicals (benzene, carbon tetrachloride, methylene chloride, naphthalene, and styrene) were at levels greater that their associated selection comparison values; several were found between 10 and 100 ppb (1,2,4-trimethyl-benzene; benzene; methylene chloride; naphthalene; and xylene); and one (styrene) was 120 ppb. Without specific knowledge of groundwater quality at locations that might be on private wells, ATSDR investigators believe some business personnel and residents in the area have been, are being, and are likely to be potentially exposed to contaminants through ingestion, inhalation (while showering and cooking), and skin contact with groundwater. Residents' descriptions of what they have seen in Seaway waters (e.g., floating tar-like substance) suggest that boaters, fishermen, and any swimmers might have experienced, might be experiencing, and might experience intermittent exposure to contaminants principally through skin contact and incidental ingestion. Fishermen might also be exposed to contaminants through consumption of fish. Pertinent sampling data are not known to be available for these media. Sediment is not likely to be an important medium for direct exposure unless they have been dredged and deposited where human contact could occur. Maintenance workers at Chemfax exposed to the highest levels of PAHs in surface soils and sediments might have a low increased risk of developing stomach, laryngeal, or esophageal tumors in their lifetime. If any soil-pica children are exposed in nearby offsite areas to the low levels of PAHs recorded, they have no apparent increased risk of developing cancer. The inhalation exposure to styrene occurring in the small group of Chemfax workers (exceeds ATSDR'S chronic inhalation MRL of 0.06 ppm for styrene. In addition, the highest level of styrene in ambient air at Chemfax exceeds levels of styrene detected in outdoor air in some areas of New Jersey, California, and North Carolina. It is possible that workers exposed to the highest level of styrene reported in ambient air might experience mild decrease in verbal learning skills after more than 9 years of employment. Styrene has been shown to cause mammary tumors in laboratory rats but the EPA has not yet determined an inhalation unit risk for styrene. Therefore, it is difficult to determine whether any mammary tumors will occur in any exposed workers.

EPA Region 4 is currently in negotiations with the State of Mississippi, the property owner, to secure funding for cleanup and to recover past costs incurred during the removal and investigation activities. As of March 2011, the remedial actions described in the 2002 Record of Decision have not been implemented. EPA is currently negotiating with the State of Mississippi to define the path forward for cleanup of the Chemfax site. The cost to remove harmful chemicals from the old industrial site, Chemfax Inc. in Gulfport, is estimated at $2.5 million.

Things to Avoid!
Tobacco smoke Styrene is a component of tobacco smoke. Avoid smoking in enclosed spaces like inside the home or car in order to limit exposure to children and other family members. Copier Styrene is released during the use of home copiers. Families should use a copier only when needed and turn it off when finished. It is also important to keep the room with the copier well ventilated. Employers and workers should apply appropriate occupational health standards and behaviors. This may include wearing respirators, protective clothing and gloves. Work places should be well ventilated. The general population may consider reducing their use of styrene containing packaging and containers.

For More Information see websites.

National Toxicology Program Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry toxsubstance.asp?toxid=74 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Occupational Safety and Health Administration