Styrofoam Regulation Ban Goes into Effect in 2017

By Kate Anslinger

Effective January 1, 2017, Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, will be banned from food service institutions in Winthrop in an effort to protect the environment and health of residents. The material, commonly used as disposable takeout containers in restaurants, contains carcinogens that are hazardous to human health much in the same way cigarette smoke is. A component of polystyrene known as benzene, is a carcinogen that enters the body via skin contact and the respiratory system. A recent study found that the migration of styrene to Styrofoam cups into hot drinks was above the EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) levels. Exposure of the styrene vapor can cause irritation in the eyes, nose, throat and skin as well as poisoning of the liver. Neurological impairment is a possible result of exposure to the material, as it acts as an intoxicant on the central nervous system. The material also causes a vast amount of rubbish in cities and can be dangerous to marine wildlife.

As of now, 100 hundred American, Asian, European and Canadian cities and towns have executed a ban. “The Board of Health was driven by the strong science behind the health hazards and harmful environmental impact of Styrofoam,” said Board of Health Chair Nick LoConte.“ Just like the way smoking is now prohibited in hospitals and airplanes, the time has come to provide healthier to-go containers and cups. On January 1st, Winthrop will join many of our neighboring communities to protect our residents from this substance.”

3 comments for “Styrofoam Regulation Ban Goes into Effect in 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.