Styrofoam Regulation Ban Goes into Effect in 2017

Friday, July 29, 2016
By Transcript Staff

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.”

  • cidvicious

    Thank you Winthrop for taking this step to protect our health and reduce marine trash!!

  • countk

    These assertions on carcinogens are totally ridiculous. There is less styrene in a foam cup, than in Cinnamon, Beer and red meat. You also don’t eat a foam cup. Show me your evidence. Another case of someone believing everything they hear!

  • Eric

    Yes thank goodness the government can save us from energy efficient products. So much nonsense in the name of public safety and government knows best.! Still waiting for my lower insurance costs from seat belt now mandatory law. Click it or ticket, obey the law, save our roads and bridges,
    Every single tax increase and over ride is always sold as “ it’s just a cup of coffee a day.” Now we cannot even keep it warm.
    Love the Town, hate the nonsense.

Search The Transcript

Recent Activity

Real Time Web Analytics - Buzz Stat