- 104.2 g/mol
- Monocyclic aromatic hdrocarbons (MAH)
Compound properties list
|Melting/boiling point|| -33 0C / 145 0C||Liquid|
|Relative density||0.91||Floats on water|
|Vapour pressure||6 mm Hg||Moderately volatile|
|Vapour density||3.6||Denser than air|
|Solubility in water||150 mg/L||Low solubility|
|Henry's law constant||4 x 10-3 atm·m3/mol||Rapid volatilization when dissolved|
|log Koc (Depending on soil or sediment characteristics)||3.5 - 5.0*||Strong adsorption to organic matter|
At 20 0C, styrene is a liquid that floats on water and is moderately volatile.
Characterized by its low solubility, it will volatilize rapidly once dissolved and strongly adsorbs
to organic matter. During a spill, this compound will partially evaporate but the majority of the
product will enter into the soil or drain into a waterway. Liquid styrene can accumulate along the
capillary fringe (groundwater) or form a film on the water surface which will promote its
solubilization and volatilization. The adsorbed styrene in the vadose and saturated zones will take
a long time to disappear, slowly liberating contamination in primarily in the gaseous, or the
dissolved state. The resulting plumes (gaseous or dissolved) will be relatively limited in
Styrene should be handled with care as it is flammable and toxic.
Styrene is an aromatic hydrocarbon produced industrially in large quantities,
principally from ethylbenzene. Styrene is primarily used in the production of polystyrene plastics
and resins for insulation or in the fabrication of fiberglass boats. It is also used in the
production of copolymers such as styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene
(ABS) which are used in manufacturing pipes, automotive components and plastic drinking glasses;
styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) used in manufacturing car tires, hoses for industrial purposes and
shoes; or combined with unsaturated polyester resins used to reinforce fiberglass materials.
Styrene is an important industrial chemical in terms of volume and release into the environment
can occur during its manufacturing, storage, transportation and processing. Typical sources of
industrial styrene releases are those facilities producing styrene, polystyrene, other plastics,
synthetic rubber and resins. Soil and sediments may become contaminated with styrene due to chemical
spills, landfill disposal of styrene-containing wastes or the discharge of styrene-contaminated
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 2007. Toxicological
Profile for Styrene. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service,
Georgia, USA. (Viewed December 2013).
Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. 1999. Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for
the Protection of Aquatic Life: Styrene. In: Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines. Canadian
Council of Ministers of the Environment, Manitoba, Canada. (Viewed March 2010)
Montgomery, John H. 2007. Groundwater Chemicals, Desk Reference, Fourth Edition, CRC
Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Florida, USA.