NASSCO Has Active 2011

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | January 2012, Vol. 67 No. 1

From the day last summer when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that styrene was added to the latest HHS National Toxicology Program (NTP) Report on Carcinogens (RoC) designating styrene as a “reasonably anticipated carcinogen”, NASSCO has actively supported efforts to overturn that decision and contributed important data to support efforts to document styrene used in CIPP linings poses no cancer risk.

In fact, NASSCO was engaged in the styrene controversy even before the announcement of styrene’s inclusion in the RoC. Earlier in the year -- while the agency still was considering designating styrene as a reasonably anticipated carcinogen -- NASSCO provided information to HHS about styrene’s use in the CIPP process.

NASSCO Executive Director Ted DeBoda has emphasized that the “reasonably anticipated carcinogen” classification requires no proof that the substance is dangerous at any concentration higher than normal industry defined threshold levels. As litigation proceeds, use of styrenated resins in the CIPP rehabilitation industry continues to employee thousands of people who provide a safe, valuable method of infrastructure rehabilitation.

The primary issue raised in litigation and by others opposing the designation is that the science behind the decision to name styrene a possible carcinogen is flawed and that there is no proven link between styrene and cancer in humans and animals.

NASSCO supports that position and contends that there is no evidence that styrene as it is currently used in the CIPP process poses any health hazards to the workers installing the CIPP or to the general public, citing independent studies in North America and Europe that concluded that a styrene exposure health hazard does not exist.

Litigation continues, pending receipt by the court of missing NTP records. Meanwhile a variety of initiatives are under way to support the styrene industry’s case that, properly used, styrene does not pose a cancer risk.