Cups for hot coffee (polystyrene foam) Lightweight trays used by supermarket to package and sometimes vegetables (polystyrene foam) Researchers have investigated possible health risks from traces of styrene monomer. Long-term Health Effects Researchers have linked chronic exposure to even small amounts of the styrene in polystyrene foam to depression and hormonal dysfunction. Products made from Styrofoam take centuries to break down entirely. Certain PFAS can accumulate and stay in the human body for long periods of time. ;+��c�Z1�����K��7ы�F�D8`�M9)M�1Qi��F�!�kq��rM�°YsZd=5� 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.” Chronic exposure affects the central nervous system showing symptoms such as depression, headache, fatigue, and weakness, and can cause minor effects on kidney function and blood. As bad as this is, it is far worse to burn the material. Polystyrene is said to be harmful for our environment. Based on what we now know, you’re probably safe using styrene foam cups for cold drinks, but I wouldn’t use them for hot coffee or tea, and I would avoid using plastic containers for hot foods. 7: The number 7 is used as a catch-all for any other plastics, one of which is polycarbonate. Polystyrene contains the toxic substances Styrene and Benzene, suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins that are hazardous to humans. A lot of people assume that Styrofoam must be safe since it's often what our takeaway comes in… wrong! In recent years, the University of Guam has taken action on banning the use of styrofoam materials on campus. Unfortunately, for all of Styrofoam’s good points, data has shown that Styrofoam also has harmful effects. Styrofoam is just as bad for our environment. Throughout the country there are other states and cities that have taken action in banning materials such as styrofoam and plastic bags to reduce the amount of waste that would end up in the environment and landfill. San Francisco passed one of the nation’s toughest bans on the use of materials made of polystyrene foam, which is more commonly known as Styrofoam. However, used improperly, it can quickly become an unsightly environmental nuisance and does have potential health risks. Chronic exposure affects the central nervous system showing symptoms such as depression, headache, fatigue, and weakness, and can cause minor effects on kidney function and blood. San Francisco is leading the country in environmental policies, and despite the many uses that styrofoam has in today’s world, the city has decided to make the hard decision to do what is best for the environment and future generations to come. Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, poses a great danger to landfills. It is commonly used as a one-time use, disposable product. Even more problematic is that styrofoam does not break down easily, it takes at least 500 years for it to start to biodegrade! 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. Burning Styrofoam can also release hydrogen bromide, chloride and fluoride. The Pacific Daily News each week publishes an article by the Islandwide Beautification Task Force. Non-Sustainable. When you drink your steaming cup of coffee or spoon your chicken noodle soup or chili out of a Styrofoam cup, you also take in small doses of … Studies indicate that styrene mimics estrogen and can interfere with hormone balances, potentially … Locally we have made some similar steps. San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed wrote on her Facebook page that this is a “huge step for our environment and health.”, Recycling benefits environment — and your wallet too. This month’s Backgrounder looks at the technical and environmental aspects of this long-troubling plastic pollution source. Spray foam is a two-component chemical system: Part A and Part B. For more information on ways you can volunteer at the IBTF, please call 475-9383 or email us at lt.ibtf@guam.gov. Its industry ranks the 5th largest creator of toxic wastes in the USA. It is commonly used as a one-time use, disposable product. 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. Unfortunately, for all of Styrofoam’s good points, data has shown that Styrofoam also has harmful effects. What is Styrofoam? The material can take hundreds of years to decompose, increasing the clutter in already-full landfills. Products made from Styrofoam take centuries to break down entirely. 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. Styrene (a component of polystyrene) is a harmful chemical that can leech into food and drink. The broken down material ends up looking like food to small animals. The number of other toxic chemicals include many harmful compounds. This buildup may have negative health effects like a risk of thyroid disease and testicular, kidney and bladder cancers. Polystyrene is the generic name for Styrofoam. The Environmental Protection Agency found that Americans dispose of 25 billion Styrofoam cups each year, not to mention the other non-biodegradable materials that also end up in our landfills and environment. Read more about the harmful effects of styrofoam in this excellent infographic provided by Wheels for Wishes: 5. Even worse, styrene is classified as a carcinogen to humans according to the National Research Council. The use of Styrofoam or other foamed polystyrene products is a personal choice. If that weren't enough, styrofoam manufacturing is rated as one of the largest sources of hazardous wastes. Polystyrene (also known as EPS Foam or Styrofoam) is a highly popular plastic packaging material which finds wide application in packaging of food items, electronic goods, electrical appliances, furniture etc due to its excellent insulating and protective properties. “Evidence indicates that all blowing agents currently used or proposed in connection with the manufact… That … x��X٪�6������xT��2�@�v�{��`B�����$;w�a��Ŗj=u������������������]a[6�^_� Expert talks about importance of sustainable development for Pacific, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. These steps are commendable to make the change we want and need to see. Chronic exposure results in more severe effects including depression, headaches, fatigue, weakness, hearing loss, and disrupted kidney function. 1 0 obj <> endobj 2 0 obj <> endobj 3 0 obj <> endobj 6 0 obj <>/Font <>/ProcSet [/PDF /Text /ImageB /ImageC /ImageI]>>/Rotate 0/Type /Page>> endobj 7 0 obj <> stream Although spray foam insulation has been applied to over 50% of homes in North America and is widely used across Canada, it has been known to have negative effects on health. ����4�eo��O�f�S`=�fqB�~�^-�et6�Hؙ�s��JaJ�$N@��|2��&6L�w#yWB�G�N}h�I�2/n1j�����,< ub[1�^�����s�]� �F���N_�}�hз�����%��g�@�D2&�|��U �D��paq��l''��5.�紮lt���. It’s popular because of its light weight, good insulation properties, and advantage as a packing material for shipping without adding weight. They eat the appetizing pieces but end up malnourished and dying with bellies full of Styrofoam. If your foam isn’t properly cured or begins to crack due to improper installation, you’ll likely have to live with its effects for a long time. Styrofoam can also post health problems because it gives off toxic chemicals in to food that could be contain.This can damage human health and reproduction. This risk seems to be low. Styrofoam is a term that’s trademarked by The Dow Chemical Company. According to the AAFP, foreign objects usually pass through the digestive tract without requiring medical intervention. ), indicating that it is made of EPS plastic, not that it’s recyclable. “It is in the interest of the health, safety, and welfare of all who live, work, and do business in the City that the amount of litter on the public streets, parks, public places, and open spaces be reduced.” 2. In June 2011 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added Styrene, the chemical found and released from polystyrene (styrofoam) products such as “to-go” containers, cups and plates, to its list of materials that are anticipated to be carcinogens (putting people at increased risk for cancer). It’s popular because of its light weight, good insulation properties, and advantage as a packing material for shipping without adding weight. Your home may become uninhabitable if the negative effects are severe enough. Polystyrene foam cups contain styrene – a chemical compound that is increasingly suspect. Advantages of Using Foamed Polystyrene B y��g;�{��m�7ܺ���]=hV�.���ux����d΢:�!�a%C����6;��M e�m>��������4�&�qx��������59q�`d9!���d[iQ]����zZwr�"�k����͊h���׶լ�u8������KNZ��A�O���5Or&R�9؉I�R� ��ku 8dž�A�I�I|[�N�F E��A�vW��z�ܺ|0뚳�w'�������}��#U�Uxӽ��H>5��H'���w�\�$�� Styrofoam is actually the trade name for polystyrene. Styrene is a key ingredient in Styrofoam. But, spray foam is almost impossible to get rid of, even if it’s found to be defective. YV�l[Ջ0>�T�s~H�"��Jw;�\̰D�!�|��F+�7�������+�@��Tx2���Tpڽ�[j�P3�>�پ14x���E�����D�뼃�Q�xL�y�M2�! Long-term exposure to PFAS/PFOA/PFOS, in high concentrations, causes a buildup in the body. Items such as foam packing peanuts, cups and mooring buoys will be prohibited in the county beginning January 2017. The fluffy styrofoam we come across daily is a form of Expanded PolyStyrene plastic or EPS. Styrofoam is actually the trade name for polystyrene. The main ingredient of memory foam is polyurethane. Prevent exposure to dangerous chemicals in AFFF Styrofoam is actually an insulating product used for the manufacturing plastics products. It’s toxic just to make it. 1. Styrene, the main ingredient in polystyrene foam, is a likely human carcinogen, according to both the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Toxicology Program. It is also said to be cancerous and hence harmful for all of us. Logically, one of the best things to do for the environment and quality of life is to reduce its use and instead choose eco-friendly, biodegradable alternatives. �q�����p}����e(K�_w΅����������V��?��.y[�TĽ����(������iK�wO����`9!���� �-&�����G_��i��=����u��+^C���oE#�S���D^x It is usually marked with a #6 in the plastic resin symbol (Yes, the one that looks like a recycling symbol…confusing, I know. %PDF-1.4 %���� . Another reason that Styrofoam is harmful for the environment is that it is made … Last week, a new policy passed in San Francisco that shocked the nation. If used properly, it is an economical, sanitary product, with low environmental risks. Styrofoam is non toxic; however has ill effects on your loved ones body. generally irritation of the skin, eyes, and upper respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal effects. Pay-Less Supermarkets is drastically reducing the use of plastic bags by prohibiting its use on certain days at their stores islandwide. On Human Health When used with food products, especially when heated, Styrofoam releases toxic chemicals into the food causing a contamination which can be hazardous to your health In addition, when exposed to sunlight,Styrofoam creates harmful air pollutants which contaminate … �I�L��4���g�(�W9��d�vK�.� �.T����d���X�q�T�M��7�6W'D����C�¾ɏ�"�_�ծ&��L:�����Cvhh��g�S�BdV`�9Λ����Pl�\��nYY�T�F����� lVðu$��}h�αf��t�ތ����9rX�)�C`�[�"�k�o� nd'v The Chemicals Leach Into Your Food Styrofoam is made from the plastic polystyrene, which is based on building blocks called styrene monomers. Hot foods and liquids actually start a partial breakdown of the Styrofoam, causing some toxins to be absorbed into our bloodstream and tissue. So, what exactly is “styrofoam” to us everyday folk?. A small amount of Styrofoam shouldn't cause any health problems, but it does contain some harmful chemicals. Gastrointestinal effects These are just the effects on people. The manufacturing of polystyrene requires the use of hydrocarbons such as styrene and benzene. This compound comes from petroleum as a byproduct. During the process of making a memory, foam polyurethane is often mixed. Since polystyrene disintegrates slowly, one of the main challenges that it poses on the environment is that exposure to the sun causes it to photodegrade, meaning it breaks apart into smaller and smaller pieces. What makes styrofoam good — like its insulating, shock-absorbing qualities that make it suitable for hot coffee cups, coolers, helmets and packing material — is also what makes it bad … for the environment, that is. Styrofoam contains the chemical styrene, which has been linked to cancer, vision and hearing loss, impaired memory and concentration, and nervous system effects…the list goes on. 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