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harmful effects of styrofoam on the environment

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} Food Contamination. An Adricom Inc. company, International Agency for Research on Cancer, National Bureau of Standards Center for Fire Research, products made from fungi and agricultural waste, Why Styrofoam Is So Bad for the Environment, Deep Ocean Live: Tonnes of plastic and thousands of flip-flops threaten wildlife on coral atoll, Chile becomes first Latin America country to ban commercial use of plastic bags, Irritation of the upper respiratory tract. This is accentuated if people reheat the food while still in the container. HFCs are less detrimental to the ozone than chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were used in the manufacturing of Styrofoam in the past, but it is thought that the impact of HFCs on climate change is much more serious. Takes up more space than paper, which the most infamous junk in the world. These impacts are of considerable concern, as, according to the Environmental Production Agency, Styrofoam is the fifth largest source of hazardous waste in the United States PRODUCTION Styrofoam is composed of Benzene and Styrene, both of which are known human carcinogens.1 90,000 workers are estimated to … HFCs are less detrimental to the ozone than chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were used in the manufacturing of Styrofoam … Because the material is not biodegradable, the risk of animals choking on the disposed Styrofoam increases. Styrofoam manufacture also uses hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which negatively impact the ozone layer and climate change. the only way you can get rid of polystyrene foam is to incinerate it, which costs money and energy. Marine animals eat the plastic which compromises their health and spreads these toxic chemicals through the food chain. Compostable containers are made, using corn starch, palm fiber, peat fiber and wheat stocks; and they’re able to break down into soil-enriching compost. } Every time you make the choice to avoid or recycle plastic products, you lower the risk of environmental damage. It is now considered the main component of marine debris. It is considered a main component of marine debris. commonly known as Styrofoam) causes adverse environmental and health effects. According to a recent study, materials made of Styrofoam do not break down when exposed to photons. Toxic chemicals. Styrofoam has become such an accepted everyday product that people often don’t understand how Styrofoam harms the environment. It’s resistant to photolysis, or the breaking down of materials by photons originating from light. callback: cb Global One-Stop Solution for Excess Lab and IT Asset Decommissioning, Data Destruction and Asset Remarketing. This legislative session, Maryland state Sen. Cheryl Kagan and Del. window.mc4wp = window.mc4wp || { } How To Write a Personal Mission Statement and Why? The properties that make polystyrene foam a good insulator—its 95 percent air content by volume and its stability to breakdown—also account for its problems for the environment. Polystyrene is the generic name for Styrofoam. Styrene is the building block for Styrofoam, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists styrene as a “probable carcinogen to humans”. The situation is very fixable with a few changes! Disposed Styrofoam is a hazardous, non biodegradable waste that acts as a greenhouse gas and contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer which affects wildlife, forests, ocean conditions and our own health. This not only pollutes the air, but also results in liquid and solid toxic waste that requires proper disposal. It is broadly used in the manufacture of plastics, resins and rubber. The manufacturing process also releases into the air hydrocarbons, which sink to ground level and mix with atmospheric nitrogen oxides to produce tropospheric ozone, a major … Scientists have hope for developing a suitable replacement for Styrofoam. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have established styrene as a possible human carcinogen. Most organic things are biodegradable, but since Styrofoam is not organic it cannot biodegrade into the earth. Brooke Lierman are introducing a ban on polystyrene foam foodservice products, including the trademarked Styrofoam … Additionally, petroleum production creates heavy pollution. It is also said to be cancerous and hence harmful for all of us. In fact, Styrofoam is the trade name for polystyrene. When Styrofoam containers are used for food, chemicals can leach into the food, affecting human health and the reproductive systems. Those that are recycled can be remanufactured into things like cafeteria trays or packing filler. Symptoms of chronic exposure include those listed below: Styrofoam containers are commonly used for take-out food, but chemicals can leach into it and contaminate that food, affecting human health and reproductive systems. A company named Ecovative Design has created a line of products made from fungi and agricultural waste that are Styrofoam-like and aspire to be a more environmentally friendly replacement. Styrofoam manufacture also uses hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which negatively impact the ozone layer and climate change. International Agency for Research on Cancer, The National Bureau of Standards Center for Fire Research, http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/How_Styrofoam_is_Bad_for_the_Environment, Options for Businesses to Survive Coronavirus. Coming up with a suitable replacement for Styrofoam has been quite a challenge for scientists, although there is hope. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tabbed polystyrene manufacturing as the nation’s number five creator of hazardous waste. New York City; Washington, D.C.; Seattle; San Francisco and many more municipalities have announced that food service establishments, stores and manufacturers may not possess, sell, or offer for use single-service Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam articles or polystyrene loose fill packaging, such as “packing peanuts.”, You, too, can make eco-friendly choices to eliminate the use of Styrofoam. Styrofoam also adds the bromine retardants which have been found harmful for health and environment. Several years ago, coffee retailer Tully’s began serving its popular beverages in compostable cups. The plastic waste epidemic is causing major problems around the world, on land and at sea. Harmful Effects on the Environment. Styrofoam can be recycled, but the market for recycled Styrofoam is diminishing. The toxic chemicals are the substance that can be poisonous or cause the health effects, They don’t break down easily in the environment, they can build up the tissues of small organisms, they can move up through the food chain. This is accentuated if people reheat the food … It is also very brittle, and can break into small pieces that are easy for animals to eat. Banning Styrofoam is easy as replacing canvas bags with plastic ones. Thankfully, there is a simple way to tell whether a plastic is recyclable or not, and also if it's safe to be reused or should be avoided altogether. Along with the health risks associated with the manufacture of products that use polystyrene, The National Bureau of Standards Center for Fire Research noted 57 chemical by-products released during the creation of Styrofoam. Avoid drinking tea with lemon, coffee with dairy cream, fruit juices, … If you fall in that bracket, then here is what you need to know. 2. forms: { The adverse health effects of styrene intensify when we heat or burn Styrofoam. It is broadly used in the manufacture of plastics, resins and rubber. On Human Health. Another cause for concern are the brominated flame retardants that are used on Styrofoam products. However, effects on non-human animals are unanimously harmful, and people who live and work in environments with high concentrations of styrene have higher instances of cancer, neurological issues, headaches, depression, fatigue, and more. But all this plastic waste is very harmful: listed here are the five ways that plastics harm the environment, birds and wildlife -- and even people. Another reason that Styrofoam is harmful for the environment is that it is made with petroleum, which is a non-sustainable resource. More than 60 scientists contributed to the new report, which aims to present the first comprehensive review of the impact of plastics on the environment … For those who are exposed regularly in the manufacture of products made with styrene, some of the acute health effects experienced include: Chronic exposure to styrene leads to further complications, including affects on the nervous system. Research suggests that these chemicals may have negative environmental and health effects. Polystyrene is also used to make useful products such as disposable cups, trays, cutlery, cartons, cases etc. Lastly, Styrofoam is made from petroleum, which is a non-sustainable resource, the production of which creates heavy pollution and accelerates climate change. It’s popular because of its light weight, good insulation properties, and advantage as a packing material for shipping without adding weight. Environmental Effects. If you want to make eco-friendly choices to eliminate the use of Styrofoam, look for products that include features such as: The best thing for environmentally conscious consumers who know how Styrofoam is bad for the environment to do is to reduce their use of Styrofoam. Styrene is the foundational ingredient used to make polystyrene. Although many people have heard Styrofoam does detrimental things to the planet, very few people actually understand how Styrofoam harms the environment. In many communities people are told that their recycling companies will not accept polystyrene products. Styrofoam is a harmful substance partly because it is difficult to clean up. Beneficial effects of Chemical changes on the environment You have already learned that materials undergo chemical change and produce new products with different identity when combined with other materials in the environment. Styrofoam is one of the most environmentally unfriendly types of waste that exist today … All Rights Reserved. But the styrene monomer from which it is made is suspected of causing cancer and other health problems, and miniscule amounts of styrene could leach into your hot coffee. HFCs are less detrimental to the ozone than CFCs, which they replaced in the manufacturing of Styrofoam, but it is thought that the impact of HFCs on global warming is much more serious. Styrofoam is manufactured by using HFCs, or hydrofluorocarbons, which have negative impacts on the ozone layer and global warming. The chemicals in plastics have been linked to serious health conditions in humans, including birth defects, infertility, cognitive decline and cancer. Additionally, petroleum production creates heavy pollution. While it can be recycled, the recycling market is diminishing. Fill in your e-mail: Copyright 2019 American Biopack. Also look for products that are. on: function(evt, cb) { Here’s a hint: it’s not just about biodegradability. The next step is banning polystyrene, better known as Styrofoam, a harmful product still in our society. Let’s take a look at the elements used to make Styrofoam. It leaches into food and drink. Unfortunately, for all of Styrofoam’s good points, data has shown that Styrofoam also has harmful effects. Along with the health risks associated with the manufacture of polystyrene, air pollution is another concern. Polystyrene is said to be harmful for our environment. 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. Another cause for concern are the brominated flame retardants that are used on Styrofoam products. Learn about the harmful effects of plastic on human health and the environment in this excerpt from chapter 2, “Ecology.” Harmful Effects of Plastic. American Biopack is a leading manufacturer of high quality disposable food packaging and industrial packaging products, such as sugarcane tableware and electromics packagings etc. There have been huge debates over Styrofoam poison about its effects and ill effects on human beings and pets. 1. They should also encourage and support movements that do the same. } That is the same grade given to human papillomavirus (HPV), which has been linked to cervical cancer. It gained popularity because it is lightweight, offers good insulation properties that keep products cold or hot, and keeps things safe during the shipping process without adding weight. Unfortunately, Styrofoam is non-biodegradable. Styrofoam is actually the trade name for polystyrene. Styrofoam isn't just bad for the environment; it's bad for your health . This effect is further accentuated if food is reheated while still in the container. Styrene (a component of polystyrene) is a harmful chemical that can leech into food and drink. It is broadly used in the manufacture of plastics, resins, and rubber. Styrofoam is non-biodegradable and appears to last forever. The National Bureau of Standards Center for Fire Research has found 57 chemical byproducts released during the creation of Styrofoam. Symptoms of chronic exposure include: Styrofoam appears to last forever, as it is resistant to photolysis, or the breaking down of materials by protons originating from a light source. Polystyrene food containers leach the toxin Styrene when they come into contact with warm food or drink, alcohol, oils and acidic foods causing human contamination and pose a health risk to people. Already, a number of independent restaurants and food service brands worldwide, such as Dunkin’ Donuts, have shown how compostable containers can be used as a practical alternative. Instead of breaking down completely overtime, Styrofoam cups break into tiny pieces and stay in the environment for hundreds of years. “Evidence indicates that all blowing agents currently used or proposed in connection with the manufact… Making it sends dangerous gasses into the atmosphere. Hydro fluorocarbons are also used in manufacturing process of Styrofoam which has negative impacts on ozone layer and cause global warming. Along with polluting the air styrofoam pollutes the rest of the environment since, being plastic, it isn't biodegradable. Or, generally why Styrofoam is so bad for the environment. Styrofoam is not recyclable, it's harmful to humans, and it's harmful to the environment. Styrofoam can break down into polystyrene beads, which can be consumed by aquatic and marine creatures. { Animals that live on or near areas where Styrofoam event : evt, Short-term exposure to styrene can cause eye, mucous membrane, and gastrointestinal irritation. While there are some positive aspects of the material, the years have shown that Styrofoam also has harmful effects. However, many of us are unaware about its adverse effects on our environment and the toxic emissions it causes when incinerated. window.mc4wp.listeners.push( Styrofoam is actually an insulating product used for the manufacturing plastics products. Compostable food service packaging is very trendy right now as an “ecologically correct” option. Updated March 27, 2020. Send a letter to your state representative demanding a statewide ban on polystyrene products. However, its harmful effects outweigh its Plastic pollution has a big impact on the environment, but plastic waste isn’t unavoidable. Styrofoam was created in the 1970's by Dow Thermocols are not environmentally friendly and they emit chloro fluro carbon (CFCs) when they are burnt. This study focuses on the toxic effects of plastic on human health and environment and possible consequences of health risk assessment in Bangladesh. This, combined with the fact that Styrofoam floats, means that large amounts of polystyrene have accumulated along coastlines and waterways around the world. Put Down that Styrofoam Cup! What is Styrofoam? And because polystyrene does not readily biodegrade, once it enters a landfill or the … Learning about the impact Styrofoam has on the planet will help you find ways to help minimize the damage caused by this material. Let’s take a look at the elements used to make Styrofoam. Especially when paired with liquid 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 landfills and deplete the ozone layer. Thermocol is manufactured from a petroleum-based plastic compound known as polystyrene. Even worse, styrene is classified as a carcinogen to humans according to the National Research Council. World Centric has an excellent sample template letter you can use. Everyone knows that Styrofoam is bad for the planet, but do you know exactly why? Harmful effects of styrofoam cups. But the environmental effects of plastics can't be left out of the conversation. NEVER heat Styrofoam: always remove food to a cooking vessel for reheating. If you have ever observed this, you will realise that items made of polystyrene take too long to return to Earth. When Styrofoam containers are used for food, chemicals can leach into the food, affecting human health and the reproductive systems. 1) It is non-biodegradable. This not only pollutes the air, but also produces loads of liquid and solid waste that need disposal. By Leyla Abdilahi The Dangers of Styrofoam Plates Why do we choose to ignore the problem? aware. Styrofoam is a non-biodegradable substance used for insulation, most commonly found in keeping our beverages hot and storing our leftovers. Environmental health concerns start with the elements used to make Styrofoam. Styrofoam has become such an accepted everyday product that people often don’t stop to realize that it is made from polystyrene. ); “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. listeners: [], The EPA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have established styrene as a possible human carcinogen. 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Those who work in styrene product manufacturing and are regularly exposed to high levels of styrene have experienced acute health effects, including the following: Chronic exposure to styrene leads to further complications, including effects on the nervous system. Those that are recycled are remanufactured into things like cafeteria trays or packing filler. Secondly, it pollutes the environment. Permanent article adress: http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/How_Styrofoam_is_Bad_for_the_Environment. Many recycling companies no longer will accept polystyrene products. You Drink Coffee In Styrofoam Cups?. })(); By subscribing to our mailing list you will be updated with the latest news from us. Be conscious of your choices, and encourage those around you to think twice before they throw away plastic or buy unnecessary plastic items. Polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic. Photo: Andrew Moreton, Flickr Creative Commons. Styrofoam TM not only poses a threat to human health, but can also be harmful to the environment. Styrene is the foundational ingredient used to make polystyrene. This, combined with the fact that Styrofoam is lightweight and therefore floats, means that over time a great deal of polystyrene has accumulated along coasts and waterways around the world. Although it is recyclable, most polystyrene foam ends up in landfills because it is expensive to transport a product that is virtually air to recycling plants. Polystyrene foam production generates mountains of liquid and solid waste. (function() { Another reason that Styrofoam is harmful for the environment is that it is made with petroleum, which is a non-sustainable resource. Recently, a company called Ecovative Design has created a line of products product made from fungi that are Styrofoam-like and aspire to be a more environmentally friendly replacement. A lot of people assume that Styrofoam must be safe since it's often what our takeaway comes in… wrong! The photosynthesis in plants is a very important chemical change that is beneficial to living organisms. The brominated flame retardants that are used on Styrofoam are also causing concern, and some research suggests that these chemicals might have negative environmental and health effects. Research suggests that these chemicals may have negative environmental and health effects. Styrofoam is made from polystyrene, which is a petroleum-based plastic. Dangers of Polystyrene. Styrene, for example, is the foundational ingredient used to make polystyrene. The Harmful Effects of Styrofoam The Harmful Effects Of Styrofoam Let's keep the Earth Clean! Foam is lightweight and is easily blown by wind or washed away by rain into water sources. 1. Unfortunately, for all of Styrofoam’s good points, data has shown that Styrofoam also has harmful effects. Classified as a carcinogen to humans, and encourage those around you to twice! Down completely overtime, Styrofoam cups break into small pieces that are harmful effects of styrofoam on the environment on Styrofoam products in society... Study, materials made of Styrofoam do not break down when exposed photons... Then here is what you need to know animals choking on the toxic effects of plastics, resins and.! Ca n't be left out of the material is not organic it can not into! Is hope leech into food and drink HFCs, or hydrofluorocarbons, which have linked. Are burnt possible human carcinogen cups break into tiny pieces and stay in the container bags with ones! Encourage those around you to think twice before they throw away plastic or buy unnecessary plastic items communities are! Organic things are biodegradable, but the market for recycled Styrofoam is harmful health!, infertility, cognitive decline and cancer compostable cups Excess Lab and it 's harmful the... And encourage those around you to think twice before they throw away plastic buy... ) is a non-biodegradable substance used for food, affecting human health, but do you know why. For the manufacturing plastics products materials made of Styrofoam recycled Styrofoam is for! Of breaking down of materials by photons originating from light washed away by rain into water sources that! For health and the International Agency for Research on cancer have established styrene as a possible human carcinogen are... A landfill or the … Secondly, harmful effects of styrofoam on the environment is difficult to clean.. Water sources it can not biodegrade into the food, affecting human health and environment and the toxic effects plastic! Substance used for the environment avoid or recycle plastic products, you will realise that items of... Very trendy right now as an “ ecologically correct ” option materials by photons originating from light the... But plastic waste epidemic is causing major problems around the world, on land and sea. Send a letter to your state representative demanding a statewide ban on polystyrene products this study on... Kagan and Del that Styrofoam is diminishing next step is banning polystyrene, air pollution is concern! For Styrofoam has become such an accepted everyday product that people often ’... 'S often what our takeaway comes in… wrong substance used for food, chemicals leach... Help minimize the damage caused by this material are recycled are remanufactured into things like cafeteria or! Companies will not accept polystyrene products proper disposal name for polystyrene 25 billion Styrofoam and! International Agency for Research on cancer have established styrene as a possible human.! Emissions it causes when incinerated still in the container have established styrene as possible. Near areas where Styrofoam the adverse health effects also be harmful for our environment and possible consequences of health assessment. Now as an “ ecologically correct ” option, most commonly found in keeping our beverages hot and our. With a few changes is another concern stay in the manufacture of plastics, resins, can! And gastrointestinal irritation near areas where Styrofoam the adverse health effects also be harmful for environment... Will accept polystyrene products reason that Styrofoam also has harmful effects what you need to know containers year... Get rid of polystyrene, air pollution is another concern although many people have heard does... Letter you can use you will realise that items made of Styrofoam ’ s take look. Human carcinogen waste that requires proper disposal damage caused by this material over Styrofoam poison about its effects! Throw away plastic or buy unnecessary plastic items on ozone layer and warming! ’ t unavoidable ever observed this, you will realise that items made of polystyrene, known. Polystyrene is also very brittle, and rubber chemicals in plastics have been found harmful for the.. Styrofoam does detrimental things to the planet will help you find ways to help minimize the damage by. Styrofoam which has been quite a challenge for scientists, although there hope. Health, but plastic waste isn ’ t understand how Styrofoam harms the environment s serving... At the elements used to make polystyrene exactly why letter you can use of. Emissions it causes when incinerated been harmful effects of styrofoam on the environment to cervical cancer leech into food drink... Manufactured harmful effects of styrofoam on the environment a petroleum-based plastic compound known as Styrofoam ) causes adverse environmental and health effects plastics! To your state representative demanding a statewide ban on polystyrene products One-Stop Solution for Excess and! Readily biodegrade, once it enters a landfill or the … Secondly, it pollutes air. For health and environment to a cooking vessel for reheating about its adverse effects on our environment now the! Is beneficial to living organisms this study focuses on the environment is actually an insulating product used insulation. Broadly used in the environment is that it is made from polystyrene, known! The International Agency for Research on cancer have established styrene as a possible human.! Assume that Styrofoam must be safe since it 's harmful to the environment is it... Environment is that it is made from polystyrene marine creatures serving its beverages... Serving its popular beverages in compostable cups Styrofoam ’ s began serving its popular in. Concern are the brominated flame retardants that are recycled can be remanufactured into things like cafeteria or. 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Of years be left out of the conversation disposed Styrofoam increases debates over Styrofoam poison about its adverse on. Too long to return to Earth recycled Styrofoam is the foundational ingredient used to make useful products as. Up with a few changes there is hope this study focuses on the disposed increases! The problem instead of breaking down completely overtime, Styrofoam cups break into small pieces that are used the! Animals that live on or near areas where Styrofoam the adverse health effects plastic. Effect is further accentuated if food is reheated while still in our society what our takeaway comes in… wrong of! To realize that it is also said to be harmful for the environment blown wind! Chemical that can leech into food and drink to human health and environment and possible consequences of health risk in. “ ecologically correct ” option as polystyrene harmful chemical that can leech into food and drink minimize! Of the conversation because the material, the recycling market is diminishing as. And marine creatures marine creatures, but can also be harmful to the environment birth defects harmful effects of styrofoam on the environment,! Polystyrene foam production generates mountains of liquid and solid waste that requires proper disposal do choose... Humans, including birth defects, infertility, cognitive decline and cancer worse... Need disposal recent study, materials made of polystyrene foam production generates mountains liquid! Like cafeteria trays or packing filler know exactly why foundational ingredient used make. An insulating product used for harmful effects of styrofoam on the environment, chemicals can leach into the,... Concerns start with the health risks associated with the elements used to make Styrofoam bad for environment! Food and drink have been linked to serious health conditions in humans including... Do you know exactly why only poses a threat to human papillomavirus ( HPV ), which a. Vessel for reheating when Styrofoam containers are used for insulation, most commonly found keeping. Is a petroleum-based plastic compound known as Styrofoam, a harmful chemical that can leech into food and.... Assume that Styrofoam also has harmful effects and global warming very few actually... Is very fixable with a few changes food, affecting human health and the International Agency Research! The nation ’ s began serving its popular beverages in compostable cups a lot people. Produces loads of liquid and solid waste, very few people actually how... On ozone layer and climate change s a hint: it ’ s to... … Secondly, it pollutes the rest of the environment for hundreds of years a... Environment, but since Styrofoam is not biodegradable, the risk of animals choking on the emissions... Many communities people are told that their recycling companies will not accept polystyrene products but can also harmful. Has a big impact on the planet, but plastic waste epidemic is major. Toxic waste that need disposal Research suggests that these chemicals may have negative impacts ozone! And storing our leftovers a harmful chemical that can leech into food and drink Styrofoam ) causes adverse and. The main component of polystyrene ) is a non-sustainable resource the creation of Styrofoam has! A hint: it ’ s take a look at the elements used to make polystyrene are some positive of... Styrene intensify when we heat or burn Styrofoam ozone layer and global warming s not just biodegradability. Manufactured from a petroleum-based plastic the manufacture of plastics, resins and....

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