Stop selling and distributing Styrofoam containers.
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Problems with Styrofoam
Styrofoam has become such an accepted everyday product that people often don't stop to realize that it is made from polystyrene. Polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic. In fact, Styrofoam is the trade name for polystyrene. 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. While there are some positive aspects of the material, the years have shown that Styrofoam also has harmful effects.
Environmental Health Concerns
Environmental health concerns start with the elements used to make Styrofoam. Styrene, for example, is the foundational ingredient used to make polystyrene. It is broadly used in the manufacture of plastics, resins, and rubber.
The EPA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have established styrene as a possible human carcinogen. For those who are exposed regularly in the manufacture of products made with styrene, some of the acute health effects experienced include:
Irritation of the skin
Irritation of the eyes
Irritation of the upper respiratory tract
Chronic exposure to styrene leads to further complications, including affects on the nervous system. Symptoms of chronic exposure include:
Minor effects on kidney function
Styrofoam appears to last forever, as it is resistant to photolysis, or the breaking down of materials by photons originating from a light source. 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. It is now considered the main component of marine debris.
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