Compound Summary

General Compound Information


Styrene is a vinylarene that is benzene carrying a vinyl group. It has been isolated from the benzoin resin produced by Styrax species. It has a role as a mutagen, a plant metabolite and a mouse metabolite. It is a vinylarene, an acyclic olefin, a volatile organic compound and a member of styrenes.
STYRENE;  Ethenylbenzene;  Vinylbenzene;  Phenylethylene;  100-42-5;
FlavorDB ID
Molecular Weight
Molecular Formula
Openeye Can Smiles
IUPAC Inchikey
Compound Classification
  • ClassyFire Ontology
Compound Quality
smell model airplane glue, sweet, balsamic water details
smell model airplane glue, sweet, balsamic 6.246e-1 µmol/L water details
Compound Toxicity and Food Additive Safety (OFAS)
Toxicity Summary
Link to the Distributed Structure-Searchable Toxicity (DSSTox) Database
IDENTIFICATION AND USE: Styrene is a colorless to yellowish, oily liquid. It is used in the manufacture of plastics, synthetic rubber, and resins, and as an insulator. It is also used as a flavoring agent for ice cream and candy.
HUMAN STUDIES: Humans acutely exposed to styrene by inhalation to 800 ppm (3.4 mg/L) for 3 hr experience immediate eye and throat irritation, increased nasal mucous secretion, metallic taste, drowsiness, and vertigo. After test termination, slight muscular weakness, accompanied by inertia and depression were noted. Long-term contact with styrene results in blistering of the skin and development of dermatitis, which is thought to result from defatting of the skin. Effects on the liver (e.g., increased serum bile acid and enhanced activity of plasma enzymes) and reproductive system (e.g., decreased frequency of births and increased frequency of spontaneous abortions in female workers) have been reported. Epidemiologic studies found styrene workers had increased mortality or incidences of lymphohematopoietic cancers (leukaemia or lymphoma or all), with suggestive evidence for pancreatic and esophageal tumors. No adequate human studies are available for styrene-7,8-oxide although this is the primary and active epoxide metabolite of styrene. Both are genotoxic and form DNA adducts in humans. Products having high irritancy to the human eye are formed when styrene is photo-oxidized with ozone and nitrogen dioxide as in formation of smog. Also, a potent lacrimator has been formed when styrene wastes became mixed with bromine or chlorine wastes and reacted under the influence of sunlight.
ANIMAL STUDIES: Acute exposure of animals to styrene causes irritation of the skin and respiratory tract, and central nervous system effects. Liquid styrene is a skin irritant which, on direct contact, causes erythema. Styrene in the rabbit eye caused moderate conjunctival irritation and slight, transient corneal injury. Nystagmus was demonstrated in rabbits, and during styrene exposure the directions of the rotatory nystagmus reversed. Rats and guinea pigs that inhaled 10,000 ppm styrene became comatose within minutes and died after 30 to 60 minutes of exposure. Animals exposed at 2500 ppm showed weakness and stupor, followed by incoordination, tremor, and coma; death followed within 8 hours. A 50% reduction in respiratory rate occurred in mice that inhaled 160 ppm for 3 minutes; mice that inhaled 250 ppm for two 6-hr periods or 500 ppm for a single 6-hr period developed severe centrilobular hepatic necrosis. Mice inhaling 125 ppm styrene, 6 hrs/day for 4 days developed increased liver weight. When rats were given 0, 125, or 250 ppm commercial grade styrene in their drinking water for three generations, no treatment-related changes in reproduction could be detected. Long-term chemical carcinogenesis bioassays showed that styrene caused lung cancers in several strains of mice and mammary cancers in rats and styrene-7,8-oxide caused tumors of the forestomach in rats and mice and of the liver in mice. Styrene induced reverse mutations in Salmonella typhimurium TA1535 and TA100 in presence of metabolic activation. It was not mutagenic to TA1537, TA1538 or TA98. Styrene was not mutagenic in spot test with various strains of Salmonella typhimurium without metabolic activation. It did not induce forward mutations in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, even with metabolic activation. In host-mediated assay using male mice, 1000 mg/kg styrene increased gene conversion frequency in Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain D4. The endocrine disruptor activity of styrene in humans and other vertebrates appears to be negligible.
ECOTOXICITY STUDIES: Offspring numbers were reduced in Ceriodaphnia dubia bred in polystyrene cups. The swimming activity of the amphipod, Pontoporeia affinis, was stimulated by styrene at concentrations between 2.3 and 23 mg/L. Higher styrene levels (35 and 46 mg/L) caused amphipods to cease swimming for several days, then resume greater than normal activity.
Source: DrugBank or Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB)
Food Additive Safety (OFAS)
STYRENE--NLFG is used for . More food additive safty information please view GRAS report.
Receptor information of this compound is not available!
Consensus Spectra
Spectrum Type Spectrum View Description Polarity
Experimental GCMS view GCMS positive
Experimental LCMS view LCMS_Positive positive