TThe National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has announced that an expert committee will conduct a scientific peer review assessment of styrene as a potential carcinogen presented in the National Toxicology Program (NTP) 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC). This NAS peer review is an important milestone in the composites industry’s effort to not only overturn the unwarranted and inaccurate NTP listing, but to ensure that government agencies follow sound scientific processes while assessing the health effects of exposure to styrene.

The NAS committee will identify and evaluate relevant, publicly available, peer-reviewed literature, with particular emphasis on literature published as of June 10, 2011, the release date of the 12th RoC.  The committee will document its decisions for inclusion or exclusion of literature from its evaluation and will identify the set of information deemed most critical to the evaluation.

The American Composites Manufacturing Association (ACMA) is confident that an independent scientific review of the NTP’s assessment will confirm that styrene is not a potential carcinogen – the conclusion that has been argued with the NTP and on Capitol Hill. ACMA also believes that the panel will find that the NTP has a flawed process for assessing scientific data and did not follow its own procedures for getting input from stakeholders like ACMA and our partner, the Styrene Information and Research Center (SIRC).

“This milestone in our campaign to reverse the NTP ruling is the result of hard work and significant contributions by ACMA members, including visits to Capitol Hill, plant tours and financial support,” notes Tom Dobbins, ACMA chief staff executive. “We still have a long way to go and to be successful, we need the support of the entire industry.”

ACMA’s Government Affairs Committee (GAC) has been on the forefront of this issue and has taken on the leadership role for the industry as a whole. The GAC works diligently to keep a strong presence on Capitol Hill in order to educate Members of Congress about the impact of this faulty ruling on small and mid-sized businesses in their communities and around the country. Congress responded by holding two hearings on this issue and on how federal agencies evaluate science.  Both hearings included witnesses representing ACMA and the composites industry.

ACMA conducts fly-ins to Washington and plant tours for Members of Congress. To gain more information about how to contribute or how to get involved with the styrene issue, please contact MJ Carrabba.