a-Ketophenylacetic Acid is a toxic breakdown product related to Styrene.
What is Styrene?
Styrene is a flammable liquid that is used to make polystyrene plastics, fiberglass, rubber, and latex. It occurs naturally in some fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, and beverages.
Where is Styrene found?
- Consumer products – cigarettes, and many packaging, household, and building products
- Air – emissions from styrene-based products, cigarettes, vehicle exhaust, and copy machines
- Food and water – containing styrene from naturally occurring sources or contamination
What happens when I am exposed to Styrene?
Exposure to styrene can cause:
- Irritation to the eyes, skin, and nose
- Gastrointestinal effects
- Respiratory effects
Long-term exposure to styrene can cause:
- Central nervous system and kidney effects
- Fatigue and weakness
- Hearing loss
- Balance and concentration problems
Who is at risk for exposure to Styrene?
- Some food, packaging materials, and consumer and building products contain styrene.
- Cigarette smoke and secondhand smoke contain styrene.
When high levels of a-Ketophenylacetic Acid (from Styrene) and a-Hydroxyisobutyric Acid (from MTBE) are found, the function of support systems such as the liver and kidneys may be impaired by excess toxin exposure.
Possible treatment options:
- Avoidance of styrene
- B12 may play a role in processing these compounds, so use low dose of Vitamin B12.
The detoxification markers, like a-Ketophenylacetic Acid, reflect increased exposure to environmental toxins, or up-regulation of detoxification pathways in response to stress. Collectively, when these markers are elevated:
1. Identify the source of toxin exposure.
2. Minimize or reduce exposure.
3. Consider the use of antioxidants, like glutathione, plus other nutrients and botanicals to support detoxification.
4. Helpful websites:
a. Tox Town https://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov
b. Environmental Working Group https://www.ewg.org
c. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov
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