In an article published on May 8, 2019, law firm Keller and Heckman LLP (KH) called into question a “confusing recommendation concerning polystyrene” provided in a recent fact sheet on styrene (CAS 100-42-5) published by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). KH questions the recommendation in the fact sheet that consumers should when possible “not store or microwave food in polystyrene-based containers,” because “small amounts of styrene can be transferred to some food from polystyrene-based food-contact items such as drinking cups, plates, and other containers.”

KH comments that this statement is “perplexing” given that a final statement on the risks of styrene published by OEHHA in May 2017 (FPF reported) states that “a warning for styrene would only be required in cases where residual levels of styrene in polystyrene food packaging materials result in exposures that pose a significant cancer risk, i.e., styrene exposures greater than 27 µg/day. The levels of such residual styrene in polystyrene food packaging materials are generally thought to be fairly low in most cases.” On April 22, 2016, OEHHA “announced the listing of styrene as a chemical known to the state to cause cancer for purposes of Proposition 65” (FPF reported).

Read more

KH (May 8, 2019). “Prop 65 fact sheet for styrene includes perplexing recommendation.”

OEHHA (April 2019). “Fact sheet: Styrene.”

OEHHA (May 2017). “Final statement of reasons, Title 27, California Code of Regulations: Styrene.” (pdf)