CIPP Industry Defends Styrene Use

Fed Dept. Seeks To Label Styrene As ‘Reasonably Anticipated Carcinogen’
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | May 2011, Vol. 66 No. 5
Styrene. Image: Bill Abbott.

When compared to traditional construction methods, the use of CIPP is a significantly faster and more environmentally friendly, green technology. Installation requires significantly less diesel and gasoline exhaust emitting equipment on the job site, and less pollution from vehicles emitting exhaust while waiting in traffic through construction detours. Fewer disturbances mean lower economic impacts when fewer if any businesses are shut down or residential areas are disturbed for extended periods of time. Since there is little or no excavation, there are fewer, if any, solids discharged into rivers and streams and less pollutants into the air.

The CIPP industry and its many related materials and equipment suppliers employ tens of thousands of people and save cities and towns significant money on pipeline rehabilitation. This considerably lower-cost technology has equipped cities and towns with the financial ability to reconstruct their pipeline infrastructure at a fairly aggressive rate, keeping up with their continuing deterioration while creating large employment opportunities throughout the country.

The proposed listing of styrene as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” can be so declared with little or no evidence as to any real effect on humans. However, such a declaration will have grave impacts on rehabilitation of the failing pipeline infrastructure throughout the country. Alternative resins could cost three times the amount of styrenated resins, which will result in a substantial increase to the cost of replacing the failing infrastructure.

There exist many exhaustive, but inconclusive studies concerning the possible carcinogenic properties of styrene, mostly associated on its effects on laboratory animals. NASSCO urges additional study and research on this topic, rather than risk serious financial, employment and environmental ramifications on inconclusive data.

NASSCO is a national organization comprised of several hundred members representing the pipeline rehabilitation industry manufacturers and suppliers, municipalities and utility districts, engineers and contracting firms.

Styrene and CIPP

Styrene is a colorless, oily, volatile and flammable water-insoluble liquid made from ethylene and benzene. It is an unsaturated compound which readily undergoes polymerization and is used in making polystyrene, polyesters, synthetic rubber and other products.