Food additives & contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment

Styrene in foods and dietary exposure estimates.

PMID 30148700


Low levels of styrene may be found in foods as a result of possible migration from polystyrene-based food packaging and as a result of its formation during the biodegradation of a wide variety of naturally occurring compounds with structures similar to styrene. In this study, composite food samples from a recent (2014) Canadian Total Diet Study were analysed for styrene, and levels of styrene in samples of most food types were low in general with a few exceptions (e.g. 4934 ng/g in herbs and spices). Dietary exposures to styrene were estimated for different age-groups based on the occurrence data and the food consumption data for all persons, and they are 0.17-0.38 µg/kg body weight/day for children and 0.12-0.16 µg/kg body weight/day for adults, similar to air intakes (0.085-0.27 µg/kg body weight/day). Thus, for the general population, both food and air contribute similar portions of the total daily intake of styrene for all age groups. However, for the smoking population, intakes from cigarettes are still the major route of exposure to styrene.

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