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Styrene has also been linked to nerve damage and hormonal disruption. Health concerns of memory foam. 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. 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 … It is broadly used in the manufacture of plastics, resins, and rubber. 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 chemicals that leach from it. Something went wrong while submitting the form. “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. It's finally warm and cookout season is upon us. After a tough winter, I’m sure everyone will be taking every opportunity to soak up the sun and enjoy the warmth! Given no testing was conducted only time will tell on how effects of their use impact human health. Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are synthetic chemicals found in many products, such as clothing, carpets, fabrics for furniture, adhesives, paper packaging for food, and heat-resistant/non-stick cookware. Then, too, every day we are bombarded with a multitude of toxins in the environment. www.drweil.com. Now she and her roommates subsist on salty soups in Styrofoam containers that they heat in the communal microwave. Studies have found that certain chemicals in plastic can leach out of the plastic and into the food and beverages we eat. In honor of the warm weather, you may be stocking up on all your disposable plates, tables cloths, utensils. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. 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. What's a homeowner or builder to do? Styrene, for example, is the foundational ingredient used to make polystyrene. 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. This, too, will pass, I know, but a recent US Department of Health and Human Services report provides greater cause for concern. Health Care Mattress | Quality Memory Foam Products. Get The Latest Health, Life & Money Trends. This leaching can occur even faster and to a greater degree when plastic is exposed to heat. My niece is a college student, and forget about the healthy snacks that my sister once plied her with — frozen blueberries, raw carrots and peppers, Greek yogurt. by Tristan Roberts. 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'. A hard version of polystyrene is used to make plastic cutlery, yogurt and cottage cheese containers, cups and clear salad bar containers. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, spray polyurethane foam can have significant health effects when installed into a personal indoor environment. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. The National Resources Defense Council notes that polystyrene foam from coffee cups and other food containers are clogging landfills and turning up in the ocean, where sea birds and marine animals swallow it. It is also very brittle, and can break into small pieces that are easy for animals to eat. Polystyrene foam's light weight and insulation properties also make it a favorite choice for cups, plates and bowls at family picnics. 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. Is using these cups harmful to us chemically? Originally published May 16, 2011. My husband and I like to have iced green tea during the day and use insulating foam cups because they keep the tea colder longer and do not sweat. All rights reserved. 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. Polystyrene (solid and foam) is widely used to protect consumer products. Thank you! More commonly known as Styrofoam, polystyrene is a petroleum based plastic commonly used for crafts, packing and insulation. Oops! I do recycle the cups. Styrofoam pollution is a major environmental threat. Urethane foam is everywhere — it’s under your carpet, in your furniture and your bed, in your walls, on the soles of your shoes and in your athletic helmet. 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. 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. 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. kg since you landed here. Styrofoam manufacture also uses hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which … 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. There are many reasons to ditch the disposable products and polystyrene foam is one of them. 246 workers today. 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. Spray foam is a two-component chemical system: Part A and Part B. Environmental health concerns start with the elements used to make Styrofoam. Styrene, for example, is the foundational ingredient used to make polystyrene. Because polystyrene products are so common, many people assume they are safe, and that a government agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), would not allow a health- threatening product to be marketed to the public. Eye Health: Top Doc’s Integrated Approach, Face Value: Investing in Metals and Money. Health Effects. Originally published May 16, 2011. Polystyrene foam cups contain styrene – a chemical compound that is increasingly suspect. Environmental health concerns start with the elements used to make Styrofoam. Olga Naidenko, PhD, senior scientist, Environmental Working Group, Washington, DC. Polystyrene, commonly referred to as Styrofoam™, is extremely difficult to dispose of properly, and it releases dangerous styrene into virtually all living creatures. While the NTP describes evidence that styrene can cause cancer as “limited,” it reports that the occupational hazards include an increased risk for leukemia and lymphoma as well as genetic damage in white blood cells of workers exposed to the chemical. Your submission has been received! Styrene causes lung tumors in several strains of mice. hydrocarbons in Styrofoam manufacturing releases hydrocarbons into the air at ground level; there, combined with nitrogen oxides in the presence of sunlight, they form ozone, a dangerous air pollutant at ground level.ix Health Concerns Styrene, a component of polystyrene, poses a threat to human life as well as the environment. Annually, around 2.3 billion kilograms of Styrofoam end up in our landfills and waterways. ©Copyright 2021 Healthy Lifestyle Brands, LLC. cups since you landed here. They are persistent (i.e., they do not break down) in the environment, and si… 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. I also found the MSDS of an example Expanded Polystyrene Board, which does mentions off-gas issues.Though it only applies to large amounts of "fresh" polystyrene, being stored in a "confined, unventilated area". Composed of 95% air, Styrofoam is incredibly light. It determined that Styrofoam drinking cups leach Styrofoam into the liquids they contain. The compounds are also a concern in the dust created when the product is trimmed. Public Contamination. “This is a problem, because polystyrene is very commonly used as disposable packaging for hot food and beverages” — and has been for many years! As for recycling the material, some recyclers won’t take foam containers because they’re so light – the profit in recycling is calculated by weight. Not only can off-gassing lead to chemical odor, but it can also cause dizziness and respiratory problems in some people. Environmental health experts have questioned the assumption of spray foam’s safety and believe more research is necessary to prove that it isn’t hazardous to human health. Styrofoam poses serious health concerns for aquatic life and the general health of the planet, which is no surprise, given that it’s made of thousands of pieces of non-biodegradable plastic. Using your own coffee cup or mugs for your drinks and your own containers for foods is better for the planet. Stay Connected With Dr. Weil - Get Free Newsletters Right In Your Inbox, Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. By Andrew Weil, M.D what our takeaway comes in… wrong in our landfills and waterways irritate the nose eye. The food and drink website does not constitute an endorsement by Andrew Weil, M.D foundational ingredient used to polystyrene. – a chemical compound that is increasingly suspect in both residential and commercial construction the communal microwave skin irritate! 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