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The toxicokinetics of styrene have been comprehensively reviewed and reported elsewhere (IARC 1994, IARC 2002).

The uptake, metabolism, distribution and elimination of styrene was investigated in a number ofin vivoandin vitrostudies in animals providing similar results. Experiments in animal test systems demonstrated that styrene was readily absorbed via the lungs and metabolised in test animals.


Styrene is primarily metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes to styrene 7,8-oxide, which is further metabolised to styrene glycol and then to mandelic, phenylglyoxylic and benzoic acids.

Because dermal absorption of styrene was shown to be low, inhalation is the major route of exposure to styrene.

Overall, the toxicokonetics data available for styrene is well understood and sufficient to perform the safety assessment of this chemical.