Estimation of a possible tumorigenic risk of styrene from daily intake via food and ambient air

Johannes G. Filser, Winfried Kessler, György A. Csanády

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Concerns of a tumorigenic risk of styrene (ST) originate from the findings that styrene (ST) is metabolized to the genotoxic intermediate styrene-7,8-oxide (SO). Therefore, it was hypothesized that results of animal long-term studies with ST and SO together with the SO tissue burden are sufficient for conducting a 'worst case' estimate of the tumorigenic risk of ST. On this basis we predicted the excess human lifetime risk for lung tumors (ρEXL) and the highest possible risk for other systemic tumors (ρHPS) resulting from daily intake of ST via food and ambient air. As measures for ρEXL the mean lifetime concentration of SO in the transitional zone of the lung and for ρHPS the mean lifetime concentration of SO in blood were calculated using a physiological toxicokinetic model. For a daily oral intake of 12 μg ST, ρEXL was obtained to be between 5×10-9 and 2×10-8 and ρHPS to be between 7×10-9 and 2×10-8. Lifetime risks calculated for continuous exposure to 3 μg/m3 ST in ambient air were between 8×10-7 and 3×10-6EXL) and between 2×10-8 and 4×10-8HPS). Although these values indicate very low risks, the actual risks are expected to be even by far smaller. This is discussed in detail for lung tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 5 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Food
  • Human
  • Inhalation exposure
  • Mouse
  • Oral intake
  • Physiological toxicokinetic model
  • Rat
  • Rodent bioassay
  • Species extrapolation
  • Styrene
  • Styrene-7,8-oxide
  • Toxicokinetics
  • Tumorigenic risk


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimation of a possible tumorigenic risk of styrene from daily intake via food and ambient air'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this