January 11, 2013 (Arlington, Va.) — the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced that an expert committee will conduct a scientific peer review of the assessment of styrene as a potential carcinogen presented in the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC). This announcement comes in the wake of an analysis published last week in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, which concluded the scientific data do not support a cancer concern for styrene and the substance should not be listed in the RoC.
“We are very pleased NAS is moving forward with the styrene review,” says American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) President Lori Luchak of Miles Fiberglass & Composites. “ACMA members and others in industries that responsibly use styrene have long advocated for a NAS peer review as the best approach to clearing up questions about the potential for styrene to cause cancer.”
In 2011, the Danish EPA concluded styrene is not likely to cause cancer in humans. Experts, including ACMA members, recently testified before Congressional panels that the review process employed by NTP for the RoC may not reliably produce scientifically valid results. After ACMA members voiced concerns about validity of the RoC, in late 2011 Congress directed the Department of Health and Human Services to commission the NAS review.
“This milestone in our campaign to reverse the NTP ruling is the result of hard work and significant contributions by ACMA members, including visits to Capitol Hill, plant tours and financial support,” notes Tom Dobbins, ACMA chief staff executive. “We still have a long way to go and to be successful; we need the support of the entire industry.”
The study is scheduled to be completed in approximately 24 months. ACMA will continue to work with Members of Congress on legislation to reform the scientific review process in the federal government.