Headquartered in Washington, D.C., SIRC was formed in 1987 as the principal focal point for public information and research on styrene. SIRC is a non-profit organization consisting of voting member companies involved in the manufacturing or processing of styrene, and associate member companies that fabricate styrene-based products. Collectively, SIRC’s membership represents approximately 95% of the North American styrene industry.
Styrene is an essential component of materials used to make thousands of remarkably strong, flexible, and light-weight products for home, school, work, and play. These products range from convenient food containers and protective packaging materials to computer housings; consumer electronics; medical applications; components for automobiles, trucks, trains, boats, aircraft and other means of transport; wind-energy parts; construction and water treatment products; building insulation; military personnel and vehicle armor; ballistic protection; fuel cells; gasoline and other storage tanks; protective sports gear, such as bicycle helmets; and many other important items. Styrene production and the manufacture of products derived from styrene represent an economically important part of the U.S. economy and these products enhance quality of life by providing improved energy efficiency, performance and cost efficiencies.
Much of SIRC’s work has focused on addressing styrene’s carcinogenic potential; researchers also have investigated styrene’s potential neurotoxicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, mutagenicity, and genotoxicity.
In normal circumstances, measured environmental concentrations of styrene in the air, water and soil are too low to cause effects on mammals, non-mammals, or microorganisms.