1. 246 workers today. “Trace amounts of styrene as well as various chemical additives in polystyrene migrate into food, which increases significantly in hot liquids,” explains Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org). Your submission has been received! Styrene poses the greatest danger to humans who are exposed to it in the workplace. Another cause for concern are the brominated flame retardants that are used on Styrofoam products. This, too, will pass, I know, but a recent US Department of Health and Human Services report provides greater cause for concern. Any third party offering or advertising on this website does not constitute an endorsement by Andrew Weil, M.D. I do recycle the cups. The National Research Council in the U.S. says styrene - the key chemical component of foam cups and disposable food containers - can be 'reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen'. Styrofoam pollution is a major environmental threat. Styrofoam contains the chemical styrene, which has been linked to cancer, vision and hearing loss, impaired memory and concentration, and nervous system effectsthe list goes on. Health concerns of memory foam. EPA Raises Health Concerns with Spray Foam Insulation. A hard version of polystyrene is used to make plastic cutlery, yogurt and cottage cheese containers, cups and clear salad bar containers. Beyond that, styrene also has been associated with respiratory problems among workers exposed to it as well as with “styrene sickness,” a combination of headache, fatigue and feelings of drunkenness. This, too, will pass, I know, but a recent US Department of Health and Human Services report provides greater cause for concern. Styrofoam Cups/Polystyrene Are Dangerous To Your Health The iconic white coffee cup and clamshell take-out containers we all know so well are not REALLY Styrofoam, so let’s make that clear from the beginning. Given no testing was conducted only time will tell on how effects of their use impact human health. Reason Foam Fails #7: Unhealthy Off-Gassing & Dust Spray foam throws off two forms of toxic poison: off-gassing of the volatile organic compounds and uncured chemical dust. Not only can off-gassing lead to chemical odor, but it can also cause dizziness and respiratory problems in some people. More commonly known as Styrofoam, polystyrene is a petroleum based plastic commonly used for crafts, packing and insulation. Always consult a competent professional for answers specific to your questions and circumstances. Styrene (a component of polystyrene) is a harmful chemical that can leech into food and drink. Styrene causes lung tumors in several strains of mice. The Dangers of Using Spray Foam Insulation. Polystyrene foam's light weight and insulation properties also make it a favorite choice for cups, plates and bowls at family picnics. In addition to creating safety problems during production, many chemical additives that give plastic products desirable performance properties also have negative environmental and human health effects. These effects include. In the 12th edition of its Report on Carcinogens, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) stated that styrene is “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen,” and the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified styrene as a “possible human carcinogen.” However, in spite of these classifications, polystyrene foam continues to be widely used for coffee cups, egg cartons, and salad boxes as well as disposable bowls, plates and trays. The end result is that the styrene foam containers blow away, often into the ocean, where they don’t disintegrate. A small minority of spray foam customers have experienced problems: Spray Foam Jobs With Lingering Odor Problems. Public Contamination. They are also present in fire-fighting foams (or aqueous film forming foam; AFFF) used by both civilian and military firefighters. CD and DVD cases, foam packaging peanuts for shipping, food packaging, meat/poultry trays and egg cartons typically are made with polystyrene to protect against damage or spoilage. It is broadly used in the manufacture of plastics, resins, and rubber. Polystyrene (solid and foam) is widely used to protect consumer products. It all adds up… so now, are you willing to accept toxic industrial chemicals in your soup? Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging - Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. More energy efficient than traditional fiberglass insulation, SPF insulation is used to create a moisture and vapor barrier in perimeter walls, crawl spaces and attics. The adverse health effects of styrene intensify when we heat or burn Styrofoam. by Tristan Roberts. The HHS says that the levels released from food containers are very low — but for me, that’s not very comforting when I think about the literally thousands of doses that we each have taken in over the years. by Tristan Roberts. Health Effects. There can be a cough and slight changes in lung activity, but there is no known correlation between carbon black and cancer or any other body systems. That doesn’t make the items I’m talking about any less dangerous, as you’ll see below, but it’s important to clarify what we are talking about. Styrofoam isn't just bad for the environment; it's bad for your health. In June, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of HHS, added styrene — the chemical used in the manufacture of Styrofoam cups and food containers — to its list of substances “reasonably anticipated” to cause cancer. Olga Naidenko, PhD, senior scientist, Environmental Working Group, Washington, DC. kg since you landed here. Reducing exposure to cancer-causing agents is something we all want, but it takes knowledge and action on each person’s part to achieve that. Styrene causes lung tumors in several strains of mice. Foam is lightweight and is easily blown by wind or washed away by rain into water sources. Health Care Mattress | Quality Memory Foam Products. After a tough winter, I’m sure everyone will be taking every opportunity to soak up the sun and enjoy the warmth! But Gromer adds that memory foam doesn't do anything for sleep apnea or other sleep-breathing disorders -- and sleep disorders are the primary complaint of most her patients. Styrofoam manufacture also uses hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which … The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added eight more substances to their list of known carcinogens a week after a World Health Organization study … Styrofoam’s Durability Is Bad for the Environment and for Humans. Polystyrene foam cups contain styrene – a chemical compound that is increasingly suspect. 90,000 workers are exposed to Styrene every year, causing variuos health issues. Bottom Line, Inc. publishes the opinions of expert authorities in many fields These opinions are for educational and illustrative purposes only and should not be considered as either individual advice or as a substitute for legal, accounting, investment, medical and other professional services intended to suit your specific personal needs. Originally published May 16, 2011. What happens when you eat hot foods or drink liquids from styrofoam plates and cups is the styrene leaches out of the Styrofoam and into our bodies. Using your own coffee cup or mugs for your drinks and your own containers for foods is better for the planet. Styrene (a component of polystyrene) is a harmful chemical that can leech into food and drink. All rights reserved. Apart from the dangers styrene may pose to human health, it also poses a risk to the environment. Originally published May 16, 2011. Some of these chemicals have been linked to health problems such as metabolic disorders (including obesity) and reduced fertility.
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