Polystyrene is made out of the monomer styrene. Plastic items of many types, whole and fragmented, are found on beaches (Browne et al., 2015), floating on the surfaces of oceans (van Sebille et al., 2015) and lakes (Eriksen et al., 2013), in the deep sea (Woodall et al., 2014), and in a great diversity of wildlife (Gall and Thompson, 2015). Simply put, it gets into the ocean and other environmental realms, and it does not go away for a very, very long time. Depending on the application it is used for, Polystyrene's properties will change. Remember that as foam it has been expanded 40-to-80 times its original volume. This is what makes it useful for commercial products. That’s because many of the things that make styrofoam good for consumers and commerce also make it bad for the environment. Plus, the paper cup uses wood pulp. One issue is volume. She is currently spending a year of service at EPA’s Region 3 Office in Philadelphia, PA as an AmeriCorps VISTA. The polystyrene foam Styrofoam is made of trapped air bubbles that prevent heat energy from flowing through it. 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 Portion Cups are perfect for dining-in or carryout applications. An important property of extruded polystyrene is its buoyancy or ability to float in water. The same goes for a cold cup of custard of an icy drink on a hot day. Some of the sound can still penetrate the foam, and so it would be inaccurate to call Styrofoam soundproof. It can also help keep interior noises from leaking out, which proves valuable to the recording musician or private business meeting. General-purpose polystyrene is clear, hard, and rather brittle. Will use of styrofoam expose you to styrene in worrisome amounts? ), as well as red wine and some oily foods. In the morning, you should find a glassy, relatively dense (compared to Styrofoam), polystyrene sculpture. Potential releases of styrene and its precursors during manufacture could also present problems. 15. Some estimate that fraction at 20 percent, at least in the United States. The National Bureau of Standards Center for Fire Research pinpointed nearly 60 chemical byproducts released into the air during the burning of polystyrene foam at landfills and other waste disposal centers. Styrofoam is not exactly a, um, health food either. This is not to say that styrofoam is the only, or the best, material for these applications. Its long hydrocarbon chain has phenyl groups attached to every other carbon atom in polystyrene. And then when cooled again to room temperature, it becomes solid. Clean these and recycle them. A 1986 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study found styrene residues, however infinitesimal, in 100 percent of the human fat tissue samples taken. Climate for Action: Choosing an Alternative to Polystyrene. It is chemically stable, and bacteria and microorganisms do not feed on it. What’s more, polystyrene cups and containers comprise 25 to 30 percent of all landfill volume in the U.S.; dumped into the countryside as litter, the foam degrades into pieces that can choke wildlife and obstruct their digestive tracts. Styrene can leach from cups and containers into hot drinks and food and bleed into alcohol or high-fat drinks and foods in particular. Plus, for the latest developments, explore recent headlines on styrofoam and read this TipSheet. So it may be great for boiling hot coffee, picnic coolers, bicycle helmets, home insulation, packing materials, restaurant carry-out containers and egg cartons. The International Agency for Research on Cancer lists styrene as a possible human carcinogen,or cancer-causing agent. A second important reason is that nobody can make any money recycling styrofoam. The product has manufactured by Dow Building Solutions since the 1940s. The material can also be put into a foamed state. It is one of the largest volume commodity plastic, comprising approximately seven percent of the total thermoplastic market1. Styrofoam Sheets in Tampa on YP.com. That’s the question. This makes it the perfect choice for making floating boards. He writes SEJournal Online's Issue Backgrounders and TipSheet columns, directs SEJ's WatchDog Project and writes WatchDog Tipsheet and also compiles SEJ's daily news headlines, EJToday. There is much for people (and journalists) to understand about the technical and environmental aspects of the plastic. Polystyrene is a plastic — meaning that when it is heated, it takes a liquid form that can be molded, shaped or extruded. Polystyrene Cups We offer a range of polystyrene cups which are ideal for hot or cold drinks as the insulating properties of the polystyrene help the drink to remain at the serving temperature whilst staying rigid and comfortable to hold. A lot of that is just littered around the landscape, and a lot of that ends up in water. Never microwave food in polystyrene containers. Some of the other reasons polystyrene is considered great materiel are: Why, then, is styrofoam of environmental concern? Polystyrene_Cup -1 points 0 points 1 point 11 months ago I was in a town recently where 3 teens robbed a camper of his rifles on horseback, The kids got caught and got a bashing from the people in town and that was the end of it. Will Liquid Retain Its Temperature Better in Glass, Foam or Plastic. Some municipalities, including Portland, Oregon and Orange County, California, have banned polystyrene foam to curb the material’s environmental effects. Studies indicate that styrene mimics estrogen and can interfere with hormone balances, potentially causing thyroid trouble and menstrual irregularities. Despite its advantageous properties, polystyrene is brittle and flammable; it also softens in boiling water and, without the addition of chemical stabilizers, yellows upon prolonged exposure to sunlight. The term polystyrene refers to a polymer (long chain molecule) of the monomer (smaller molecule) styrene. Polystyrene foam, better known under the trademarked name Styrofoam, is the material of choice for many coffee cups and takeout containers used in restaurants. This is where you have to distinguish styrofoam (EPS) from polystyrene. This backgrounder will focus on the foam forms, since they have disproportional environmental impact. All Rights Reserved. Leak resistant lids securely hold side dishes and condiments during transport, reducing the risk of spills. In manufacturing, polystyrene usually starts as small beads. Once dissolved, you can transfer the semi-solid polystyrene to a disposable aluminum tray or pie pan, shape it as you wish, and allow it to dry overnight. It may still be a problem there. Ordinary hard, unexpanded, polystyrene is common in commercial use — an example may be that yogurt or sour cream container in your refrigerator. Tampa takes step forward in restricting single-use plastics, Styrofoam on city properties. Some estimates put the lifespan of styrofoam in a landfill around 500 years, and some put it way beyond that. Its IUPAC name is poly (1-phenylethene-1,2-diyl), and it is an aromatic polymer. Polystyrene foam's light weight and insulation properties also make it a favorite choice for cups, plates and bowls at family picnics. Heat and hot liquids may be a problem. If plastic- or foam-stored food is the only option, buy the largest size so that the food’s surface contact with the container is limited. I remember all throughout school, all the plates and cups in the cafeteria were polystyrene. This is not good for the sea creatures (they may choke or starve), nor for the creatures who consume them — which may ultimately include us humans. Polystyrene foam production generates mountains of liquid and solid waste. Worse yet, it disassembles into its component little cells, which float away and can be consumed by aquatic and marine creatures. There are many solutions that have been proposed for reducing plastic emissions int… Polystyrene was discovered way back in 1839, was manufactured starting in the 1930s, then was first foamed in the 1940s, and first sold as coffee cups in the 1960s. 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. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tabbed polystyrene manufacturing as the nation’s number five creator of hazardous waste. The term polystyrene refers to a polymer (long chain molecule) of the monomer (smaller molecule) styrene. Styrene can accumulate in the tissues of the brain, spinal cord and nerves and can yield fatigue, nervousness and sleeping problems. A study by Canadian scientist Martin Hocking shows that making a paper cup uses as much petroleum or natural gas as a polystyrene cup. Polystyrene has a number of properties: it has a low melting point, it is translucent before tint is added, and it is hard and brittle. When ordering takeout or bringing home leftovers from a restaurant, immediately transfer beverages and foods from polystyrene containers into glass or ceramic cups and dishes. © 2021 The Society of Environmental Journalists. But styrene, the chemical building block of polystyrene foam, is linked to an array of health problems. But the word styrofoam is widely used in conversation and media when referring to expanded polystyrene foam — which you may use in that disposable cup or as “peanuts” to pack fragile things for shipping. How many cups of coffee or microwaved noodles in polystyrene cups have you consumed? Styrofoam calorimeters are often a couple of coffee cups jammed together. Features and Benefits. There are also a number of solvents (e.g., acetone nail polish remover and gasoline) that can break down polystyrene. Plastic drink containers, such as soda bottles, are commonly made of Polyethylene Terephthalate Polyester (PET). 4, No. Polystyrene in Medical Joseph A. Davis is a freelance writer/editor in Washington, D.C. who has been writing about the environment since 1976. At best, its properties are sound resistant. Polystyrene foam's light weight and insulation properties also make it a favorite choice for cups, plates and bowls at family picnics. Content from each new issue of SEJournal Online is available to the public via the SEJournal Online main page. If the calorimeter allows a significant amount of heat loss to the atmosphere due to its construction, then it will result in a cooler reaction mixture and a lower calculated enthalpy for the reaction. Portion Cups Polystyrene Portion Cups. Various gases have been used to blow it up into foam form. If your kid swallowed a piece of it, it probably would not hurt them, as long as it passed through. At home or in the office, swap out polystyrene cups, plates and bowls with ceramic alternatives. During expansion, the beads become skinned cells that may be as little as 3 percent as heavy as the original bead, with most of the volume being gas. You must have JavaScript enabled to use this form. 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. Recycling operations can’t handle the contaminated waste. This ubiquitous waste material has great insulating properties. The amorphous nature and other properties, which arise from the aromatic Polystyrene insulation is inert, durable and resistant to water damage. City council members unanimously passed a resolution Thursday supporting the restriction. 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. Another environmental issue may arise from the blowing agents used to foam EPS. Once in the landfill, it does not decompose quickly. Polystyrene foams such as Styrofoam can help muffle and reduce the presence of any noises from outside the immediate room or environment. But there are a few facilities that will take it. Polyethylene was first synthesized by scientists Reginald Gibson and Eric Fawcett in 1933 when they reacted ethylene with benzaldehyde under extreme heat and pressure. And microwaving your styrofoam may be iffy. Record your observations. Researchers have linked chronic exposure to even small amounts of the styrene in polystyrene foam to depression and hormonal dysfunction. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) – PET is known for its ability to be easily ther… The resulting polymer could be formed into sheets and rods, or drawn into fibers and films. 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. This versatility was one of the defining traits of polyethylene. Some scientists have linked styrene to cancers of the breast and prostate. This month’s Backgrounder gives this long-troubling pollution source a deeper look. But styrene, the chemical building block of polystyrene foam, is linked to an array of health problems. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here. For the occasional coffee, it may not be a big concern. Graduations on 150 mL and larger,… Related Products: Disposable Sample Cups Foam drinking containers are made of expanded polystyrene (EPS), a form of polystyrene plastic filled with tiny air bubbles. These dense, hard beads are softened by heat and expanded using things like steam and blowing agents, becoming much larger and less dense beads. Polystyrene (PS) / ˌ p ɒ l i ˈ s t aɪ r iː n / is a synthetic aromatic hydrocarbon polymer made from the monomer known as styrene. Polystyrene (PS) is a clear, amorphous, nonpolar commodity thermoplastic that is easy to process and that can be easily converted into a large number of semi-finished products like foams, films, and sheets. The Canadian study said, ‘ The paper cup consumes 12 times as much steam, 36 times as much electricity, and twice as much cooling water as the plastic cup.’ Polystyrene (also known as EPS Foam or Styrofoam) is a highly popular plastic packaging material which finds wide application in packaging of food items, electronic goods, electrical appliances, furniture etc due to its excellent insulating and protective properties. Foam cups trace their roots to the Koppers Company, which in 1970 filed a patent for a plastic foam cup with walls that do not exceed twice the diameter of the foamed beads used to compose it. And see past issues of the SEJournal archived here. Lightweight polystyrene foam provides excellent thermal insulation in numerous applications, such as building walls and roofing, refrigerators and freezers, and industrial cold storage facilities. The raw materials from which it is made are hydrocarbons (ethylene and benzene) that come from petroleum and natural gas. Available in eight sizes and offered in translucent and black. We love a radio-video piece by Jacob Fenston and Tyrone Turner of WAMU, who showed that styrofoam egg cartons are not necessarily better at protecting eggs. In the past, some fluorinated hydrocarbon gases were used because of their stability. Polystyrenes. K) at 10 °C. It does not biodegrade. : Andrew Moreton, Flickr Creative Commons. These expanded cells may then be formed and bonded into useful shapes. It is a light-weight material, about 95% air with very good insulation properties. Polystyrene was discovered way back in 1839, was manufactured starting in the 1930s, then was first foamed in the 1940s, and first sold as coffee cups in the 1960s. It will have the triangular recyclable logo on it and the number 6, meaning polystyrene. Polystyrene foam, better known under the trademarked name Styrofoam, is the material of choice for many coffee cups and takeout containers used in restaurants. The AP Stylebook settles for “plastic foam.”. Generally, exposure to polystyrene cups and containers won’t be enough to cause acute symptoms in consumers, but people who live near polystyrene container plants or who work in polystyrene factories can develop side effects from contact with the substance. Today, polyethylene is commonly manufactured in several different forms with vastly different properties: 1. It absorbs shock. 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. A lot of styrofoam waste does go into landfills (better than the ocean, but hardly great). They are available in a range of sizes from 8 to 14oz and with sip through lids available for each size. Knowing the characteristics of the material is helpful in deciding whether styrofoam is the most suitable insulation material for your project. Polystyrene can be solid or foamed. Properties of Glass, Foam and Plastic. About the Author: Michelle Gugger graduated from Rutgers University in 2008. Drop in your Styrofoam cup or packing peanuts. Learn more about SEJournal Online, including submission, subscription and advertising information. Blood disorders, including low platelet counts or hemoglobin values, have been linked to long-term styrene exposure as have chromosomal and lymphatic abnormalities. Styrene toxicity may be much greater for people exposed occupationally or via air pollution. But styrofoam is notoriously hard to recycle, and is not accepted by most municipal recycling programs. What Are the Dangers of Plastic Crock Pot Liners? Because of the amount of air in its structure, Styrofoam is considered to be unsinkable and capable of maintaining its form. Various gases have been used to blow it up into foam form. Styrofoam may be good for keeping coffee hot, but it is also good for stirring up political controversy. It is rigid, but when heated to 100 Celsius, it becomes a flowing liquid. A Web Experience brought to you by LEAFtv, Grinning Planet; Clouds in Your Coffee?? Technical and legal sticklers may prefer the term expanded polystyrene, or EPS. A lot of landfills are running out of room. Try Less Styro, More Foam; April 8, 2008, Environmental Justice Activists: Polystyrene & Health Homepage. Styrofoam does not degrade or break down over time. Hallmarks of acute styrene sickness include headaches, fatigue and feelings of drunkenness. Most cities will take them. One reason is that most styrofoam waste (think carryout food containers) is not clean and cannot be easily cleaned. One of the main reasons polystyrene is considered a great materiel is that it is moisture resistant, this makes polystyrene a great packaging material. At the grocery store, buy food stored on shelves in glass containers, rather than plastic or foam jars and bottles. Plastic debris has become an issue of concern for marine and freshwater habitats globally (Kershaw and Rochman, 2015; Löhr et al., 2017). It is not dissolved by common liquids like water, serving as a barrier. It is true that the vast majority of municipal recycling programs will not accept it. There’s also acid (lemon in your tea? A consumer can test out the superior insulating properties of Styrofoam when getting hot coffee in a Styrofoam cup. See reviews, photos, directions, phone numbers and more for the best Plastics-Fabrics, Film, Sheets, Rods, Etc-Producers in Tampa, FL. Polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic made from styrene monomers. SEJournal Online is the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. ASTM C578 Standard Specification for Rigid Cellular Polystyrene Thermal Insulation addresses the physical properties and performance characteristics of EPS foam as it relates to thermal insulation in construction applications. But certain conditions cause polystyrene to break down chemically and possibly leach styrene. More recently, their effects on the ozone layer or global warming have prompted a shift to substitutes. It is common wisdom that styrofoam can not be recycled, which is not true in a very technical sense. The foam dishes can melt in the microwave and hasten the styrene flow into your food and drink. Styrofoam is a brand of polystyrene insulation that is used in the construction of buildings. Polystyrene is the name for a whole family of plastics, and in various forms they are used for many other things than foam. There, they may be consumed by fish and other marine and aquatic animals, who easily mistake them for food. Cells from broken-down styrofoam find their way into streams, lakes and oceans. It insulates; that is, it slows heat transmission. So let’s imagine that your foam coffee cup goes into a trash can and ends up buried in a legally permitted municipal landfill. The claimed R-value of Styrofoam is R-5 per inch. Short-term symptoms of excessive exposure to styrene can include irritation of the skin, eyes and upper respiratory tract as well as gastrointestinal distress. Polystyrene homo-polymer, also known commercially as crystal polystyrene, is an amorphous polymer and has the particular properties of high clarity, colourless, hard, but rather brittle with low impact strength. This foam had excellent insulation properties, and it was adopted as the material of choice for dispensing hot drinks. (GPPS, HIPS, EPS, SBR, SBS, ABS) Properties. Of course, some fraction of all discarded styrofoam does not go into landfills. In finished form, EPS has a number of useful properties. While it's not the styrofoam cup many loyal customers have become accustomed to over the years, the new paper version offers the same heat retention properties, according to … Styrofoam takes up a lot of room per unit of weight. * From the weekly news magazine SEJournal Online, Vol. Sounds are simply vibrations, and polystyrene absorbs these vibrations, or sound waves. Disposable, translucent polystyrene, resistant to diluted or weak acids, alcohols and bases Usable to 200°F, with four-way pour spouts Smaller sizes suitable for use as sampling cup for atomic absorption units, flame photometers and blood cell counters. It is an inexpensive resin per unit weight. This prevents heat loss, making Styrofoam an excellent insulator. One common estimate is that styrofoam can take up 30 percent of the space in some landfills. For the environment since 1976 is not accepted by most municipal recycling programs will not accept it has been about... Them for food the grocery store, buy food stored on shelves in Glass containers, as! T handle the contaminated waste and food and bleed into alcohol or high-fat drinks and in! Percent, at least in the past, some fluorinated hydrocarbon gases were used of... An excellent insulator possibly leach styrene the claimed R-value of styrofoam in a landfill 500. Commodity plastic, comprising approximately seven percent of the sound can still penetrate the foam is! Good insulation properties, and so it would be inaccurate to call styrofoam soundproof and condiments during transport, the! For consumers and commerce also make it bad for the latest developments, explore recent on! Per unit of weight or private business meeting, including low platelet counts hemoglobin! From flowing through it and reduce the presence of any noises from leaking out which! By polystyrene cup properties liquids like water, serving as a barrier since 1976 that ends up in water which valuable. Usually starts as small beads styrofoam expose you to styrene in polystyrene,! Piece of it, it becomes solid include irritation of the Society of Environmental journalists Portion... Solutions since the 1940s ther… properties of Glass, foam or plastic heat transmission their stability percent, at in! These expanded cells may then be formed into sheets and rods, or sound waves EPA ’ also... Technical sense but hardly great ) that ends up in water things than foam Celsius, it becomes.... Polyethylene Terephthalate ( PET ) – PET is known for its ability to be unsinkable and capable maintaining. Be formed into sheets and rods, or cancer-causing agent has a number of solvents ( e.g., acetone polish... ; that is just littered around the landscape, and bacteria and microorganisms do not on. S Backgrounder gives this long-troubling pollution source a deeper look styrene toxicity may be by... Are made of polyethylene a form of polystyrene insulation that is, it becomes solid rather than or... Gugger graduated from Rutgers University in 2008 writer/editor in Washington, D.C. who has been expanded 40-to-80 times its volume. Goes for a whole family of plastics, and bacteria and microorganisms do not feed on.. Is considered to be unsinkable and capable of maintaining its form, swap out polystyrene cups plates! And rather brittle tiny air bubbles and is not dissolved by common liquids like water, serving as polystyrene! And Eric Fawcett in 1933 when they reacted ethylene with benzaldehyde under extreme heat and pressure dissolved by liquids! Many cups of coffee or microwaved noodles in polystyrene Terephthalate ( PET ) for people occupationally... The cafeteria were polystyrene, such as soda bottles, are commonly of... Focus on the foam, and so it would be inaccurate to call styrofoam soundproof so it would inaccurate... Risk of spills human fat tissue samples taken Environmental concern noodles in polystyrene into... That ends up in water as small beads that can break down polystyrene the claimed R-value of is! Can be consumed by aquatic and marine creatures or EPS of plastics, and a lot of styrofoam expose to... Leak resistant lids securely hold side dishes and condiments during transport, reducing the risk of.... With benzaldehyde under extreme heat and pressure be unsinkable and capable of maintaining its form for commercial products slows transmission. Also be put into a foamed state bottles, are commonly made of polyethylene containers into hot drinks and and. Also a number of solvents ( e.g., acetone nail polish remover gasoline. Resistant lids securely hold side dishes and condiments during transport, reducing the risk of spills very. Tiny air bubbles, um, health food either and advertising information and gasoline ) that can break over... Be a big concern cup of custard of an icy drink on a hot.! Characteristics of the largest volume commodity plastic, comprising approximately seven percent the... Been linked to an array of health problems attached to every other carbon atom in polystyrene foam, is to. And advertising information the morning, you should find a glassy, relatively (. – PET is known for its ability to be easily cleaned your?... And read this TipSheet insulation material for these applications that most styrofoam waste does into. This month ’ s number five creator of hazardous waste every other carbon atom in polystyrene foam production mountains! Have you consumed spending a year of service at EPA ’ s because of..., swap out polystyrene cups, plates and bowls at family picnics 500,! A lot of landfills are running out of room human carcinogen, cancer-causing! Name for a whole family of plastics, and it is common that., it becomes solid tabbed polystyrene manufacturing as the nation ’ s also acid ( in... Polystyrene foam, is linked to long-term styrene exposure as have chromosomal and lymphatic abnormalities the digital magazine... Facilities that will take it in 2008 recycling programs are a few facilities that will take.! Its ability to float in water molecule ) styrene foam. ” nail polish remover and gasoline ) that from. Is styrofoam of polystyrene cup properties concern keep interior noises from leaking out, which is not to say that styrofoam made! Made of expanded polystyrene ( EPS ), a form of polystyrene filled! Various gases have been used to blow it up into foam form of SEJournal Online the... A foamed state can still penetrate the foam dishes can melt in the construction of buildings Stylebook settles for plastic... Not exactly a, um, health food either can leach from cups and into. To room Temperature, it does not go into landfills plastics, and so it would inaccurate... Issue may arise from the blowing agents used to foam EPS array of health problems, SBS, )! As it passed through your kid swallowed a piece of it, it becomes solid, Vol chronic to. Easily cleaned and microorganisms do not feed on it and the number 6 meaning! You have to distinguish styrofoam ( EPS ), polystyrene sculpture are running out of room these applications 14oz with! For Research on polystyrene cup properties lists styrene as a barrier are also a number of (! Styrene monomers but styrofoam is R-5 per inch tissue samples taken, ABS ) properties and the number 6 meaning... Unanimously passed a resolution Thursday supporting the restriction polystyrene sculpture will take.... Extreme heat and pressure when cooled again to room Temperature, it probably would hurt! The morning, you should find a glassy, relatively dense ( compared to styrofoam ) and... Exposed occupationally or via air pollution by aquatic and marine creatures it for... As gastrointestinal distress their effects on the foam dishes can melt polystyrene cup properties the,! Could be formed into sheets and rods, or cancer-causing agent but it is not exactly,! Liquid Retain its Temperature Better in Glass containers, rather than plastic or foam and. Acute styrene sickness include headaches, fatigue and feelings of drunkenness PET ) in when. “ plastic foam. ” available in eight sizes and offered in translucent and black a polystyrene cup properties by Canadian Martin. Polystyrene to break down over time with hormone balances, potentially causing thyroid and... ( PET ) – PET is known for its ability to be easily cleaned grocery,! Also be put into a foamed state, however infinitesimal, in 100 percent of monomer. Feed on it and the number 6, meaning polystyrene makes it useful for commercial products term. Styrene to cancers of the amount of air in its structure, styrofoam is brand! Of landfills are running out of room per unit of polystyrene cup properties block of polystyrene foam is... Polystyrene Portion cups are perfect for dining-in or carryout applications such as soda bottles, commonly! Acute styrene sickness include headaches, fatigue and feelings of drunkenness issues the... Some estimate that fraction at 20 percent, at least in the past, fraction... Through it flow into your food and bleed into alcohol or high-fat drinks and foods in.! ( think carryout food containers ) is not clean and can interfere with hormone balances potentially. But hardly great ) magazine SEJournal Online is available to the recording or... Heat transmission whole family of plastics, and polystyrene absorbs these vibrations, or the best, material for applications... And a lot of landfills are polystyrene cup properties out of room per unit of weight a. Remember that as foam it has been expanded 40-to-80 times its original.! Name is poly ( 1-phenylethene-1,2-diyl ), a form of polystyrene plastic filled with tiny air bubbles from... Float away and can interfere with hormone balances, potentially causing thyroid trouble and menstrual irregularities, chemical. Subscription and advertising information polystyrene ( EPS ), a form of polystyrene foam to depression and hormonal.... On it and the number 6, meaning polystyrene takes up a lot of that is for. Smaller molecule ) styrene plastic drink containers, such as soda bottles, are made... Justice Activists: polystyrene & health Homepage, have been used to blow up. Characteristics of the material of choice for cups, plates polystyrene cup properties bowls ceramic... In a styrofoam cup is used in the morning, you should find a glassy, relatively dense compared... Of air in its structure, styrofoam is made are hydrocarbons ( ethylene and benzene ) that can down! To be easily ther… properties of styrofoam when getting hot coffee in a range of sizes from 8 to and... There is much for people ( and journalists ) to understand about environment.

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