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. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. According to the EPA: “Homeowners who are exposed to isocyanates and other spray foam chemicals in vapours, aerosols, and dust during or after the installation process “run the risk of developing asthma, sensitization, lung damage, other respiratory and breathing problems, and skin and eye irritation." 246 workers today. cups since you landed here. It is used in the manufacture of a wide array of products, everything from boats, car and truck parts, to bath tubs and shower stalls with glass fiber-reinforced polyester composite plastics. It determined that Styrofoam drinking cups leach Styrofoam into the liquids they contain. Public Contamination. 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. Eye Health: Top Doc’s Integrated Approach, Face Value: Investing in Metals and Money. Polystyrene (solid and foam) is widely used to protect consumer products. 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. The cups apparently lose weight during the time they are at use. Environmental health concerns start with the elements used to make Styrofoam. Formaldehyde: formaldehyde is not common in mattress usage. Health Effects. Start your 14-day free trial now – and start eating anti-inflammatory today! Any third party offering or advertising on this website does not constitute an endorsement by Andrew Weil, M.D. This substance is not safe for use in the U.S. since 2004 due to health concerns. Now she and her roommates subsist on salty soups in Styrofoam containers that they heat in the communal microwave. 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. Get The Latest Health, Life & Money Trends. 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. When volatile organic compound in the mattresses break down and release chemicals into the air, it is called off-gassing. Then, too, every day we are bombarded with a multitude of toxins in the environment. All rights reserved. Health concerns of memory foam. The compounds are also a concern in the dust created when the product is trimmed. It is broadly used in the manufacture of plastics, resins, and rubber. These effects include. Given no testing was conducted only time will tell on how effects of their use impact human health. Styrofoam isn't just bad for the environment; it's bad for your health. 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. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, of the nearly 20 million pounds of waste styrene generated annually, about 17.8 million pounds winds up in the air and 1.7 million pounds gets into surface waters. After a tough winter, I’m sure everyone will be taking every opportunity to soak up the sun and enjoy the warmth! www.drweil.com. Something went wrong while submitting the form. Styrofoam pollution is a major environmental threat. kg since you landed here. Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging - Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. The end result is that the styrene foam containers blow away, often into the ocean, where they don’t disintegrate. It's finally warm and cookout season is upon us. Spray foam is a two-component chemical system: Part A and Part B. 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. 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. 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. 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. Updated by Paula Melton June 1, 2018. It all adds up… so now, are you willing to accept toxic industrial chemicals in your soup? Styrofoam is made from the plastic polystyrene, which is based on building blocks called styrene monomers. 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. In recent years, spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation has become increasingly popular in both residential and commercial construction. Always consult a competent professional for answers specific to your questions and circumstances. “This is a problem, because polystyrene is very commonly used as disposable packaging for hot food and beverages” — and has been for many years! Some of these chemicals have been linked to health problems such as metabolic disorders (including obesity) and reduced fertility. Styrofoam TM not only poses a threat to human health, but can also be harmful to the environment. Composed of 95% air, Styrofoam is incredibly light. Olga Naidenko, PhD, senior scientist, Environmental Working Group, Washington, DC. 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. Spray-polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation, growing in popularity, is under scrutiny from EPA. The EWG is a nonprofit, research-based organization dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. 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. 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. It is also very brittle, and can break into small pieces that are easy for animals to eat. Everything you need to get started eating a healthful, satisfying diet is here – including eating and shopping guides, over 300 recipes, and an exclusive version of Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid! 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. Health Details: Health Care Memory Foam Mattresses Luxurious comfort, plush support, and a soothing sleep temperature combine to define the Health Care memory foam miracle!This revolutionary sleep technology is designed to conform to the contours of your body, help maintain temperature balance, and cradle you in maximum comfort… The okayed verbiage is that it is like a health checkup for your foam and that doesn’t contain a laundry list of known bad chemicals, some of which are known carcinogens. The vast majority of spray foam customers are happy with their choice of insulation and report no negative health effects from living in a home insulated with spray foam. 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. Health Care Mattress | Quality Memory Foam Products. The primary health concern from the inhalation of carbon black involves the respiratory system. “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. 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. 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. Another cause for concern are the brominated flame retardants that are used on Styrofoam products. 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. According to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for TRYMER(TM) 3000 Rigid Polyisocyanurate Insulation, there should be no problems (for this specific product anyway).. Annually, around 2.3 billion kilograms of Styrofoam end up in our landfills and waterways. Research suggests that these chemicals may have negative environmental and health effects. I do recycle the cups. EPA Raises Health Concerns with Spray Foam Insulation. 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. “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). 1. Foam is lightweight and is easily blown by wind or washed away by rain into water sources. Styrofoam manufacture also uses hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which … by Tristan Roberts. 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. 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. 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 … Using your own coffee cup or mugs for your drinks and your own containers for foods is better for the planet. They are persistent (i.e., they do not break down) in the environment, and si… To find out whether other food containers are made with polystyrene, look for the.... 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