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The International Agency on Research of Cancer (IARC) provides the following evaluation of carcinogenicity of styrene (IARC, 2002):


   There is limited evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of styrene.

   There is limited evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of styrene.

   Overall evaluationStyrene is possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).


In general, IARC attributes the carcinogenic effect of styrene to genotoxic and carcinogenic metabolite of styrene -styrene 7,8-oxide. It is also noted that the possible mechanism of formation of metabolite styrene 7,8-oxide in mice is not likely to operate in humans.