Should Styrofoam products be banned?
Some information about polystyrene insulating-foam, food packaging to consider (“Baltimore council members to try again to ban Styrofoam products,” Sept. 11):
Said food packaging is regulated by the FDA and said packaging must pass rigid testing before it is approved. Paper packaging, which also floats on water to include wraps and hardboard, contains more residual compounds, e.g. insecticides, fungicides, biocides, fluorinated water repellents, PCBs, dirt and insect parts. For this reason, paper products used in food contact applications also must meet strict FDA testing regulations .
Regarding polystyrene in landfills: Stable products like polystyrene foam in landfills prevent biodegradation and landfill collapse.
Regarding polystyrene in waste-to-energy incinerators: Basically it is burning oil but you get a second use add-on.
Regarding polystyrene in the litter-stream: Littering in Maryland will cost you $1,500 whether it is polystyrene foam or newspapers or rags or old furniture.
And there are hundreds of chemicals in coffee which include trace levels of styrene. Should we now ban coffee? Styrene is also found in cinnamon. Should we now ban Cinnabons?
And what about all those residual chemicals in the ink and paper used to publish the floating hard copies of The Baltimore Sun?
B. H. Meyer, Elkridge
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