Uses and Properties

Styrene, a colourless clear liquid, is used in the manufacturing of polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN), styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) and latices, and unsaturated polyester resins (UP resins).

ABS is a tough, heat-resistant thermoplastic. It is widely used for appliances and telephone housings, luggage, sporting helmets, pipe fittings and automotive parts.

SAN is mainly used in the automotive, electrical and electronics industry, as well as in household applications and building products.

Because of its excellent abrasion resistance, SBR is widely used in automobile and truck tyres.

Styrene-butadiene latex is mainly used for carpet backing and paper coating. Other applications include belting, flooring, wire and cable insulation, and footwear.

Polystyrene is widely used to make yoghurt and dessert containers and lids.

Expanded and extruded polystyrene foams are also used in building applications, where the high insulation values enable buildings to be kept warm in winter or cool in summer with significant reductions in fuel use.

Unsaturated polyester resins are mainly used in the construction, boat building, automotive and electrical industries. More recent applications include their use in large-scale wind turbines used to generate “renewable electricity”.

The European UP/VE resin association (UPR) represents the unsaturated polyester resin producers in Europe.

Issues and Regulations

REACH Implementation

Consortia have been formed through which manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering
Ethylbenzene and Styrene monomers
Mail to Consortia management: McKenna Long & Alldridge.


Provide regulators and other official bodies with information to enable them to classify and where appropriate regulate the transportation, marketing and use of styrene.

Specific Issues

  • Support and resource studies relating to potential health effects of styrene
  • Lead Responsible Care initiatives to maintain high standards of safety in transportation, storage and use of styrene.


To be nominated


Information not available


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