Served In Styrofoam Topped with Styrene And Carcinogens
Styrofoam has been around a long time and is used for many things.
However, we should rethink the use of Styrofoam containers for our food and drink.
Styrofoam is a brand, trademarked, owned and manufactured by The Dow Chemical Company. It is referred to as closed cell extruded polystyrene foam, basically it is a long term, which means it won’t let moisture seep through the pores, so it is great for insulating and serving foods and the short term we use to refer to is as “Styrofoam”. Styrofoam was first created by Carl Georg Munters, a Swedish inventor. In 1941 Dow Chemical used the first method to create Styrofoam and then expanded on the method to make it foamed, which is called the extruded polystyrene foam.
The Styrofoam products are not just used in cups and containers at your local fast food or leftovers to take home from the restaurant. According to Wikipedia.org, Styrofoam is used in building materials for the thermal insulation properties, some cities use it under roads to and building structures to prevent damage to from freezing and thawing, used for packing materials (we refer them as packing peanuts), the last time you bought a new appliance or computer the white foam stuff packed around the appliance was Styrofoam, florists use it in their arrangements, and it also used in craft projects.
Styrofoam is a universal product we can use for just about anything. Stop and think about it though, this same product that we are insulating under streets, building, pipes, appliances and we are using the same Styrofoam material to place food and drinks to be consumed. Let’s rethink that, and ask yourself…Do you really want your food or something you are drinking to be placed in something that is also used forpacking and insulating materials? Ok, so let’s get beyond that and think about what happens when it touches our food or the liquid we are going to consume in our body. Many of us use these containers made from Styrofoam in microwaves to heat food or liquids, but they become extremely toxic to us and release toxic chemicals that are triggered by heat from the microwave. The chemicals that leach out of the Styrofoam from the heat go into our body. These chemicals have been known to interfere with our health and reproductive system.
In an article, by The Embassy of the United States, PHNON PENH, Cambodia, It stated,
“The migration of styrene from a polystyrene cup into the beverage it contains has been observed to be as high as 0.025% for a single use. That may seem like a rather low number, until you work it this way: If you drink beverages from polystyrene cups four times a day for three years, you may have consumed about one foam cup’s worth of styrene along with your beverages.” We are talking about chemicals that are releasing into our food and the liquids we consume, but let’s expand on this a little further in depth as to the chemicals, so it is clearly understood. The Styrofoam products are made from polystyrene, which is a product of Styrene. Styrene is used extensively for the manufacture of plastics, rubber and other items. The EPA and the International Agency for Cancer research have labeled is as a possible human carcinogen.
In another article, by Earth Resource Foundation, It noted,
“Acute health effects are generally irritation of the skin, eyes, and upper respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal effects. 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. Styrene is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).”
Some cities are banning the use of Styrofoam in food establishments, therefore many companies are switching to other items with plant starch as the basis, in which they don’t release harmful chemicals during use and they are compostable. Plant starch based plastics are referred to as PLA (polylactic acid), which are made from plant starch and some of the plants in which this is obtained are usually corn, sugar beets, sugar cane, wheat, rice and sweet potatoes. Plastic products made from the plant starch are eco-friendly, biodegradable and compostable. These alternatives are heat-stable, grease and moisture resistant, microwave safe and most of all, they are eco-friendly. Let your body take the healthier and more eco-friendly approach.