Polystene & Styrofoam - In Due Time Blog

Health + Infertility: Polystyrene

It’s been awhile since I have shared an environment and health post, but I’m continuing my series about today and sharing about polystyrene. If you have missed the prior posts you can read them here:

Polystyrene is a petroleum plastic made from styrene monomer. The more common name you would recognize is Styrofoam and you can identify it by the #6 stamped on products. It’s used extensively in the manufacture of plastics, rubber, and resins including packing peanuts, CD covers, containers, disposable cutlery, bottles, etc. Because it’s light-weight and well insulated, it’s widely used, which causes a problem.

Styrofoam is not only hazardous to the environment which I won’t have time to touch on in this post, but it causes health problems too. Polystyrene raises a major concern for those who use Styrofoam, but even more so for those who work in the industry. There have been links to not only health problems, but chronic exposure leads to problems with the central nervous system which can cause depression, headaches, etc.

I constantly see people at work pouring coffee or heating up a drink in their Styrofoam cup or eating off a Styrofoam plate, which is what led me to start researching. When heated, especially in the microwave, the toxic chemicals from the Styrofoam leak out into the food or drink which is absorbed by our bodies.  Along with all the chemicals I have discussed on prior posts, when Styrofoam is absorbed by the body, it too mimics estrogen. It can contribute to thyroid problems, menstrual irregularities, and other hormone-related problems including infertility. There have been links to breast cancer and prostate cancer. The estrogenicity of polystyrene is thought to be comparable to that of BPA which was discussed here.

Whenever you bring home leftovers from a restaurant, always transfer to glass containers. Whatever you do, don’t ever heat food or drinks on or in anything made out of Styrofoam. I realize you can’t always avoid every chemical I have discussed, but eliminating it when possible is recommended. A good alternative to avoiding BPA and Polystyrene is to ALWAYS use glass! I don’t leave home without my glass water bottle which you can find here.

Are you aware of how all these chemicals can be so harmful to your health and the environment around you? Do you use Styrofoam products? If you want to learn more about the environmental or health effects of using polystyrene there are an endless amount of articles including lots of research on the internet.

Polystene & Styrofoam - In Due Time Blog

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32 Comments
  • Nina @ Flowers in my Hair
    Posted at 06:21h, 15 July Reply

    I don’t use it. Mostly because I knew it was so bad for the environment. I didn’t realize how bad it was for me too!

  • Megan Davis
    Posted at 07:52h, 15 July Reply

    Thanks for the info! I used to heat in styrofoam growing up all the time. Glad I stopped that nasty habit

  • Roxanne
    Posted at 08:02h, 15 July Reply

    GREAT advice. We are pretty focuses on more natural living as a way to honor God. This is helpful.

  • Marianne
    Posted at 08:14h, 15 July Reply

    Love your environment posts, thanks!

  • Cindy @MomMaven
    Posted at 09:18h, 15 July Reply

    I don’t like using styrofoam so I do the best I can to avoid it.

  • T Austin
    Posted at 09:35h, 15 July Reply

    Wow – I had never heard of this before. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

  • kristen
    Posted at 10:01h, 15 July Reply

    wow, i had no idea it was so bad! we don’t use it anyway (i don’t drink coffee and always use glass containers) so thats good to know.

  • Rebecca Jo
    Posted at 10:10h, 15 July Reply

    I had bought a whole carton at Sam’s club for my smoothies & then read up on all the info on how awful they are… Needless to say, they only get used to water my plants now & pour water into the dogs bowls.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 11:29h, 15 July Reply

    Bleh, I never use styrofoam because I hate that you can’t microwave it. I’m a glass girl!

  • Andi
    Posted at 11:37h, 15 July Reply

    in NY they just banned the use of styrofoam – let’s hope it helps

  • Mandi
    Posted at 13:48h, 15 July Reply

    I’m so about this too! I never heat anything but glass. Great post!

  • Jeff
    Posted at 13:57h, 15 July Reply

    Thanks for this post. Really informative. I don’t think Ive ever heard of this…learn something new every day.

  • Alexis
    Posted at 15:28h, 15 July Reply

    I didn’t know that about styrofoam! I think the only time I use it is when I get iced tea from Chick-fil-A. 😉 We actually just got rid of our microwave which has been an adjustment but we replaced it with a fancy toaster oven to heat things up faster. Thanks for all the good tips!

  • Cheryl Smith
    Posted at 17:12h, 15 July Reply

    Oh, my, how horrible. I am so thankful you are getting the news out about this stuff. We wonder why there is so much sickness, and all along, we are bringing so much of it on ourselves. So thankful for you!! God bless you. 🙂

  • Mary Collins
    Posted at 18:11h, 15 July Reply

    Very educational post. I didn’t realize how toxic some of these everyday items we use can be.

  • Jelli
    Posted at 19:48h, 15 July Reply

    Gosh, I knew it was bad for the environment and not to microwave using Styrofoam but goodness, that stuff sounds terrible. Thanks for filling me in.

  • Ally King
    Posted at 20:54h, 15 July Reply

    Holy smokes–I had no idea it was so bad for me! I have a few changes to make around here! Thanks for posting, friend!

  • Pamel
    Posted at 22:10h, 15 July Reply

    Yikes! Thank you for alerting us to this. I agree — eliminating it when possible is important.

  • Danielle
    Posted at 22:36h, 15 July Reply

    Great series of posts! Hubby would love this one! I’m amazed at all of the products that have somehow passed standards in our governemnt that are awful! When I was expecting baby boy I did so much purging in our closets from anti-bacterial soap to anything with possible bpa! Good job!

  • Nicole
    Posted at 22:44h, 15 July Reply

    Another great reason to take your reusable mug to the coffee shop! +)

  • Melanie
    Posted at 05:03h, 16 July Reply

    I didn’t realise how bad it is for us. Thanks for this. I’m sharing your post on FB.

  • Cathy
    Posted at 05:24h, 16 July Reply

    I was just talking with my sister about this very thing as she was putting a plate in the microwave!! Educating people is the best way to spread the word, LOVE this ad sharing with everyone I know! 🙂
    Cathy@threekidsandafish{dot}com

  • ellesees.blogspot.com
    Posted at 05:37h, 16 July Reply

    glad to see it’s not as popular as it once was. it’s still out there–i mainly see it on take out boxes!

  • Marie
    Posted at 06:15h, 16 July Reply

    ohhh Didn’t realize this. I usually heat things up on a plate – not a cup because I’m afraid it will melt.

  • Marissa
    Posted at 06:56h, 16 July Reply

    I have avoided Styrofoam for years and we have been making the change to all glass containers over the past couple of years as the budget allows. It’s a shame that the upfront cost of such plastics are so much lower, even if the overall cost is higher…

    Thank you for sharing more on this topic – one step at a time….

    Marissa

  • Elena
    Posted at 07:27h, 16 July Reply

    Great great post girl! Styrofoam is terrible! I never reheat my leftovers in the containers I always put it on a plate! And don’t even get me started on how bad it is for the environment being that it is not biodegradable! Thanks for sharing the info!

  • Matilda
    Posted at 11:35h, 16 July Reply

    These are very insightful posts to learn from. Thanks for sharing…

  • Amie
    Posted at 15:08h, 16 July Reply

    I try to remember to use glass instead of plastics as much as I can. Thanks for the helpful info 🙂

  • Sara
    Posted at 13:35h, 24 July Reply

    This is really interesting. I knew most of the environmental issues but not the health concerns with styrofoam. It’s pretty terrible! For whatever reason you don’t see styrofoam very much where I live, but even so I’m the oddball who brings her own containers to restaurants where I know I’ll have leftovers.

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