Styrene added to Proposition 65 list.

  • Proposition 65 is a “right to know” California statute that requires companies to provide warning statements where their products cause an “exposure” to carcinogens and/or reproductive toxicants.  California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) maintains an up-to-date list of the chemicals (>900) that trigger warnings.  The warning requirements do not apply where a particular exposure falls within the “safe harbor,” which is defined by reference to:
    • the no significant risk level (NSRL) for listed carcinogens, which is the level of a chemical calculated to result in one excess case of cancer in an exposed population of 100,000, assuming lifetime (70-year) exposure to the chemical at the level in question; or
    • the maximum allowable dose level (MADL) for reproductive toxicants, which is the level at which a chemical would have no observable effect assuming exposure at 1,000 times that level.
  • Effective April 22, 2016, OEHHA has added styrene (CAS No. 100-42-5) to the Proposition 65 list.  The listing action is based on formal identification by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) that the chemical is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”  OEHHA also has proposed an NSRL for styrene of 27 µg per day.
  • The listing of styrene has been in the pipeline for many years, so OEHHA’s current action comes as little surprise to the industry.  We anticipate that many stakeholders have been evaluating the potential impact of the styrene listing on their product lines and warning obligations for some time.  Comments on the proposed NSRL are due by June 6, 2016.