Styrofoam – Just Say No
When the manufacture process of styrofoam, closed cell extruded polystyrene foam, was discovered by scientists at Dow Chemical Company in 1941, most hailed it as an extraordinary achievement. As with many things, we now know in hindsight that the production and widespread use of products utilizing this method are uniformly hazardous to our planet and all its inhabitants.
Styrofoam is made from benzene, a known carcinogen. Studies by the Environmental Protection Agency and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have found it to be a carcinogen and linked to a variety of cancers, including leukemia and other lymphatic and haematopoietic neoplasms. Fifty-seven chemical compounds are released during the production of styrofoam.
Polystyrene foam is completely non-biodegradable. Every cup, takeout box and bowl we use has the potential to be with the generations in the 22nd century. By its very air-filled, voluminous nature, it clogs our overflowing landfills ... and just sits there.
Marine life that mistakenly ingest it as food lose buoyancy and die, or the carcinogen ends up in our food chain.
The good news about styrofoam is that there isn’t a gray area about where and when to use it. Don’t use it. It’s risks outweigh its benefits. Ask for a substitute if you are at a restaurant. Or, consider taking your own take out box for restaurant use. Yes, this seems radical but so did turning down a plastic bag a few years ago. Join the Earth Stewards Team in our quest to eradicate styrofoam from Home Church’s consumption stream. We have choices. Let’s make them.
Submitted by Helen Bushnell Beets for Earth Stewards Team, June 2013