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Foundation of Health #5 - minimize toxicity

What is Polystyrene

Dr. John Palmer

What is Polystyrene

Envision going to your favorite restaurant to eat with family and friends. At the end of your meal, you want to take home leftovers. We all do it, and we package our extra food neatly in each compartment of the takeout box or tray and don't even pay attention to what the material is that made up that cute little dessert tray or main dish box. As the food industry learns about the products that contain our food and what and how they are shipped, products tend to be substituted with a new material. There is still one material that is used frequently and believe it or not, is and can still be found at our local grocery stores. Polystyrene is a versatile plastic resin used to produce all kinds of products. It’s most used in two forms which can either be solid or foam. Solid form of polystyrene is used to make auto parts, electronics, toys, kitchen appliances and more. The foam polystyrene is used to make building and appliance insulation, surfboards, lightweight protective packaging, egg cartons, meat trays, foodservice packaging and more. Now you may be thinking to yourself “I’ve never heard of this before, is it new?”, nope. The more widely known name for this product is Styrofoam. Styrofoam is the trade marked industrial name for polystyrene that has a blueish color whereas polystyrene is translucent. Polystyrene has many side effects which include links to cancer, vision and hearing loss, impaired memory, and concentration as well as nervous system effects. When we either eat from or heat up our food in these containers, this chemical can leach out into the food or drink and then into our bodies. Styrene is such a problematic chemical that it is also included on the Hazardous 100 list. This is encouraging retailers alike to move on from Styrofoam due to its contaminating properties. I know we can’t eliminate all chemicals from our bodies, but we can pay a little more attention to what we take our food home in as every little bit helps.


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