Cathal Walsh
Environmental Journalist
Tuesday, 9th July 2019
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Table of Contents

Maximum amount allowed in water

  0.1 mg/L

What is it?

Styrene is an oily organic liquid with an aromatic, almost floral odor.

What is it used for?

Styrene was initially mainly used in the production of synthetic rubber.  Now it is used as a component for making polymers in constructing plastics, resins, coatings, and paints.

How does it get into water?

Styrene is a synthetic so it does not occur in nature. The main way in which it gets into water is mainly through surface water sources. It gets into these sources via effluent from rubber and plastic factories and by leaching from landfills.

What are the possible health effects of a styrene exceedance?

It is said that drinking water with an exceedance of styrene for a number of years could lead to problems with the kidneys, liver or circulatory systems.

How do I know if styrene is in my water?

Not many laboratories carry out tests for styrene so if you are concerned about elevated styrene levels in your water it is best to contact your municipal water provider and ask them to carry out a test for the same.

How is it removed from water?

To get the levels of styrene under the maximum limit of 0.1mg/L the approves treatment is a granular activated carbon filter used in conjunction with packed tower aeration.  


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