Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Lead Senior Scientist.
It’s been a ridiculously long road to get here, because of the delay tactics of the chemical industry. But yesterday a panel of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) fully backed the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) listing of styrene as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
We have blogged earlier about this saga. In June 2011, after years of delay, the NTP released its Congressionally mandated 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC), in which it upgraded formaldehyde to the status of “known to be a human carcinogen,” and for the first time listed styrene as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” The chemical industry launched an all-out war to defend two of its biggest cash cows, filing a lawsuit to try to reverse the styrene listing (which it lost), and seeking to cut off funding for the RoC.
In late 2011, the industry managed to get its allies in Congress to slip into the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012, without any debate, a rider that mandated NAS to review the styrene and formaldehyde listings in the 12th RoC. Yesterday’s NAS report on styrene is the first installment, with the second one on formaldehyde expected shortly.
The NAS report could not be more supportive of the NTP’s listing of styrene, finding “that ‘compelling evidence’ exists in human, animal, and mechanistic studies to support listing styrene, at a minimum, as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” (emphasis added) Read More