Secondly, it pollutes the environment. Lastly, Styrofoam is made from petroleum, which is a non-sustainable resource, the production of which creates heavy pollution and accelerates climate change. When Styrofoam containers are used for food, chemicals can leach into the food, affecting human health and the reproductive systems. Styrofoam has become such an accepted everyday product that people often don’t understand how Styrofoam harms the environment. Let’s take a look at the elements used to make Styrofoam. 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. Marine animals eat the plastic which compromises their health and spreads these toxic chemicals through the food chain. Unfortunately, for all of Styrofoam’s good points, data has shown that Styrofoam also has harmful effects. Harmful Effects on the Environment. })(); By subscribing to our mailing list you will be updated with the latest news from us. ); the only way you can get rid of polystyrene foam is to incinerate it, which costs money and energy. The National Bureau of Standards Center for Fire Research has found 57 chemical byproducts released during the creation of Styrofoam. Styrene is the foundational ingredient used to make polystyrene. 1) It is non-biodegradable. 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 … 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 … The adverse health effects of styrene intensify when we heat or burn Styrofoam. While it can be recycled, the recycling market is diminishing. 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. Polystyrene is the generic name for Styrofoam. 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. It’s resistant to photolysis, or the breaking down of materials by photons originating from light. This is accentuated if people reheat the food … And because polystyrene does not readily biodegrade, once it enters a landfill or the … Another cause for concern are the brominated flame retardants that are used on Styrofoam products. The plastic waste epidemic is causing major problems around the world, on land and at sea. Permanent article adress: http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/How_Styrofoam_is_Bad_for_the_Environment. 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. This study focuses on the toxic effects of plastic on human health and environment and possible consequences of health risk assessment in Bangladesh. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have established styrene as a possible human carcinogen. You Drink Coffee In Styrofoam Cups?. Even worse, styrene is classified as a carcinogen to humans according to the National Research Council. The Harmful Effects of Styrofoam The Harmful Effects Of Styrofoam Let's keep the Earth Clean! Put Down that Styrofoam Cup! window.mc4wp.listeners.push( World Centric has an excellent sample template letter you can use. Styrofoam is actually an insulating product used for the manufacturing plastics products. Styrene is the building block for Styrofoam, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists styrene as a “probable carcinogen to humans”. } Another cause for concern are the brominated flame retardants that are used on Styrofoam products. 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. There have been huge debates over Styrofoam poison about its effects and ill effects on human beings and pets. Or, generally why Styrofoam is so bad for the environment. Although many people have heard Styrofoam does detrimental things to the planet, very few people actually understand how Styrofoam harms the environment. Styrofoam is made from polystyrene, which is a petroleum-based plastic. “Evidence indicates that all blowing agents currently used or proposed in connection with the manufact… Styrofoam isn't just bad for the environment; it's bad for your health . According to a recent study, materials made of Styrofoam do not break down when exposed to photons. Styrofoam is one of the most environmentally unfriendly types of waste that exist today … Brooke Lierman are introducing a ban on polystyrene foam foodservice products, including the trademarked Styrofoam … They should also encourage and support movements that do the same. Thermocols are not environmentally friendly and they emit chloro fluro carbon (CFCs) when they are burnt. Learning about the impact Styrofoam has on the planet will help you find ways to help minimize the damage caused by this material. The chemicals in plastics have been linked to serious health conditions in humans, including birth defects, infertility, cognitive decline and cancer. How To Write a Personal Mission Statement and Why? It is broadly used in the manufacture of plastics, resins and rubber. In many communities people are told that their recycling companies will not accept polystyrene products. Environmental health concerns start with the elements used to make Styrofoam. 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. Additionally, petroleum production creates heavy pollution. A lot of people assume that Styrofoam must be safe since it's often what our takeaway comes in… wrong! Another reason that Styrofoam is harmful for the environment is that it is made with petroleum, which is a non-sustainable resource. Styrofoam is actually the trade name for polystyrene. Styrene is the foundational ingredient used to make polystyrene. Unfortunately, Styrofoam is non-biodegradable. 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. American Biopack is a leading manufacturer of high quality disposable food packaging and industrial packaging products, such as sugarcane tableware and electromics packagings etc. NEVER heat Styrofoam: always remove food to a cooking vessel for reheating. It is considered a main component of marine debris. What is Styrofoam? The next step is banning polystyrene, better known as Styrofoam, a harmful product still in our society. Styrofoam is a non-biodegradable substance used for insulation, most commonly found in keeping our beverages hot and storing our leftovers. This not only pollutes the air, but also results in liquid and solid toxic waste that requires proper disposal. } callback: cb on: function(evt, cb) { 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. According to the EPA, Americans trash approximately 25 billion Styrofoam cups and take-out containers every year. If you fall in that bracket, then here is what you need to know. Many recycling companies no longer will accept polystyrene products. Coming up with a suitable replacement for Styrofoam has been quite a challenge for scientists, although there is hope. Scientists have hope for developing a suitable replacement for Styrofoam. While there are some positive aspects of the material, the years have shown that Styrofoam also has harmful effects. Also look for products that are. Photo: Andrew Moreton, Flickr Creative Commons. That is the same grade given to human papillomavirus (HPV), which has been linked to cervical cancer. By Leyla Abdilahi The Dangers of Styrofoam Plates Why do we choose to ignore the problem? Environmental Effects. Animals that live on or near areas where Styrofoam Toxic chemicals. 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. aware. listeners: [], This is accentuated if people reheat the food while still in the container. On Human Health. Every time you make the choice to avoid or recycle plastic products, you lower the risk of environmental damage. Everyone knows that Styrofoam is bad for the planet, but do you know exactly why? It is now considered the main component of marine debris. Making it sends dangerous gasses into the atmosphere. 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