polystyrene cup properties

It is one of the largest volume commodity plastic, comprising approximately seven percent of the total thermoplastic market1. Studies indicate that styrene mimics estrogen and can interfere with hormone balances, potentially causing thyroid trouble and menstrual irregularities. �8͛6�����f�3�kE������ӌ�}����aL���$����2���8���:!�̲�l�7p �$}4�,��� ���5���Ѽ��K��Zt�r^@Ƒ?����/��aZu9�X�B$q�Jq�O��6�:d{ξKҼ�����V�� But the styrene monomer from which it is made is suspected of causing cancer and other health problems, and miniscule amounts of styrene could leach into your hot coffee. SEJ Awards for Reporting on the Environment, SEJ Regional Conferences, Meet-Ups and Webinars, SEJ Bylaws, Policies, Agreements and Guidelines, Sign Up for SEJ Discussion Listservs (members only), consumed by fish and other marine and aquatic animals, Styrofoam Facts — Why You May Want To Bring Your Own Cup. It is rigid, but when heated to 100 Celsius, it becomes a flowing liquid. First, we are duty-bound to warn you that “Styrofoam“ is, legally, a trademarked name for a particular Dow product typically used as a building material. But styrofoam is notoriously hard to recycle, and is not accepted by most municipal recycling programs. It does not biodegrade. �Hi�!�f�{�� ��+X"��xC Styrene can accumulate in the tissues of the brain, spinal cord and nerves and can yield fatigue, nervousness and sleeping problems. ���f�[�7�J��KK�{N����K�p$�ê�;��n�+6�/n���P��SH�V )29BH��N�/�5yͮ��Y_�.a���g This is what makes it useful for commercial products. ,q �@�����_� aU@X�ob�f�1.�F��|ٳg�����f�5~l��ѿ�ӿ��z���k�s� &�8���?��f� V���g��g�Ԝ�e~R��~x�.N����'��)�U�&J�1��A�6��m�Y���c��u)e��KLԞ��ީpֻ�a��~d~r��Ho���� �� But styrene, the chemical building block of polystyrene foam, is linked to an array of health problems. It is an inexpensive resin per unit weight. �g4H����n This month’s Backgrounder gives this long-troubling pollution source a deeper look. Polystyrene is the name for a whole family of plastics, and in various forms they are used for many other things than foam. PS is made of foam material and is termed as Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) or Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) which is known for its insulating and cushioning properties. Will Liquid Retain Its Temperature Better in Glass, Foam or Plastic? Technical and legal sticklers may prefer the term expanded polystyrene, or EPS. These dense, hard beads are softened by heat and expanded using things like steam and blowing agents, becoming much larger and less dense beads. Joseph A. Davis is a freelance writer/editor in Washington, D.C. who has been writing about the environment since 1976. It may still be a problem there. Most cities will take them. ���h*7�L����WWV�V�]����#����8�G�;� ���.��62�_ČP��X^�@Xu =���5?�c����䶻���W��� © 2020 The Society of Environmental Journalists. For the occasional coffee, it may not be a big concern. One reason is that most styrofoam waste (think carryout food containers) is not clean and cannot be easily cleaned. s !1AQa"q�2���B#�R��3b�$r��%C4S���cs�5D'���6Tdt���&� The foam dishes can melt in the microwave and hasten the styrene flow into your food and drink. It insulates; that is, it slows heat transmission. 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 air pollutant that can cause chest pain, coughing, wheezing and pulmonary congestion in people exercising outside. It will have the triangular recyclable logo on it and the number 6, meaning polystyrene. Polystyrene in Medical But there are a few facilities that will take it. (GPPS, HIPS, EPS, SBR, SBS, ABS) Properties. It is true that the vast majority of municipal recycling programs will not accept it. And microwaving your styrofoam may be iffy. And then when cooled again to room temperature, it becomes solid. All Rights Reserved. �K1; An?3�[�2i�R��js/֮��I ��Q�� �֝�_�:U�5�)�W l��b &I(�'Xe��N~��Z��T3�g'������寕�����u�Rp�)�-H�W�O�ɇ��%�t�쏭AIvA���3�z���8_�չ���XH����@j>2fI~�I�Nf͛?�����f�[�'yF��K��M�����{� Once in the landfill, it does not decompose quickly. Lightweight polystyrene foam provides excellent thermal insulation in numerous applications, such as building walls and roofing, refrigerators and freezers, and industrial cold storage facilities. Polystyrene foam, better known under the trademarked name Styrofoam, is the material of choice for many coffee cups and takeout containers used in restaurants. Potential releases of styrene and its precursors during manufacture could also present problems. Some scientists have linked styrene to cancers of the breast and prostate. 15. 4, No. A 1986 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study found styrene residues, however infinitesimal, in 100 percent of the human fat tissue samples taken. It is not dissolved by common liquids like water, serving as a barrier. Researchers have linked chronic exposure to even small amounts of the styrene in polystyrene foam to depression and hormonal dysfunction. In manufacturing, polystyrene … Consumers who drink beverages from polystyrene cups four times a day for three years will have ingested about one foam cup's worth of styrene along with those beverages. Polystyrene can be naturally transparent, but can be co… Learn more about SEJournal Online, including submission, subscription and advertising information. �4�m��� ���zW� �� �. Polystyrene insulation is inert, durable and resistant to water damage. Polystyrene foam's light weight and insulation properties also make it a favorite choice for cups, plates and bowls at family picnics. An important property of extruded polystyrene is its buoyancy or ability to float in water. Short-term symptoms of excessive exposure to styrene can include irritation of the skin, eyes and upper respiratory tract as well as gastrointestinal distress. Some estimates put the lifespan of styrofoam in a landfill around 500 years, and some put it way beyond that. * From the weekly news magazine SEJournal Online, Vol. Cells from broken-down styrofoam find their way into streams, lakes and oceans. Styrene toxicity may be much greater for people exposed occupationally or via air pollution. Some municipalities, including Portland, Oregon and Orange County, California, have banned polystyrene foam to curb the material’s environmental effects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tabbed polystyrene manufacturing as the nation’s number five creator of hazardous waste. Grinning Planet; Clouds in Your Coffee?? This is where you have to distinguish styrofoam (EPS) from polystyrene. 1 0 obj << /CreationDate (D:20020705093626) /Producer (Acrobat Distiller 3.01 pour Power Macintosh) /Creator (XPress\252 4.1 Passport: LaserWriter 8 F2-8.5.1) /Author (HUGH) /Title (ILSI Rep Poly for pdf) >> endobj 2 0 obj << /Type /XObject /Subtype /Image /Name /Im1 /Width 143 /Height 236 /BitsPerComponent 8 /ColorSpace /DeviceGray /Length 9153 /Filter /DCTDecode >> stream Never microwave food in polystyrene containers. Hallmarks of acute styrene sickness include headaches, fatigue and feelings of drunkenness. Some estimate that fraction at 20 percent, at least in the United States. It is common wisdom that styrofoam can not be recycled, which is not true in a very technical sense. `ԖM=�!Q�ߤ���$i�HM�H�_P�H�\�t�7�Y���ڍ�Yi�݅�ܵ���C,�@X�Hݘ� But certain conditions cause polystyrene to break down chemically and possibly leach styrene. So let’s imagine that your foam coffee cup goes into a trash can and ends up buried in a legally permitted municipal landfill. In the past, some fluorinated hydrocarbon gases were used because of their stability.

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