Re: FW: information on PS Foam cups

Brenda Platt (
Wed, 24 Nov 1999 17:53:17 +0000

Howdy all,

Just a note to clarify the posting by BRING recycling.

In the early 1990s, ILSR produced a series of factsheets, called Facts
To Act On. Three of the issues focused on the health implications of
polystyrene. (The second one was an industry response to the first, and
the third was the original author's response to industry's.) These
factsheets, which I believe are still relevant, changed my own
consumption habits -- I avoid ps for food or beverage containers like
the plague.

I don't have the factsheets in front of me (as I work mostly from home
these days), so I'll try to summarize them from memory here. In a
nutshell, the factsheets have information indicating that ps products
contain residual styrene, a known cancer causing mutagen. No
polymerization process is 100% efficient, accounting for the residual
styrene. The health impacts of styrene are well documented, especially
in ps production facilities. Also, a study done on human adipose tissue
samples indicated that 100% had styrene. What is not well documented is
the health impact on the average person from consuming food and
beverages in ps products. The factsheets do state that ps is soluable
in acohol and fatty substances. The author also notes the increase in
diseases like Parkinsons, implying that styrene residuals from everyday
consumption might have something to do with this.

Now you might be asking: How can I get copies of these factsheets?
Unfortunately, we don't have them available on our Web site (not yet
anyway). The last time I mentioned on this listserve that they were
available, we were inundated with requests. We can no longer afford to
copy and send them out for free, so if you want them, please send $5
(made payable to ILSR) to Publications, ILSR, 2425 18th Street, NW,
Washington, DC 20009. Request the three polystyrene Facts to Act


Brenda Platt

-----Original Message-----
From: BRING Recycling []
Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 1999 12:46 PM
To: Mead, Terry
Subject: Re: information on PS Foam cups

Check out ILSR. They have a great information packet about styrene.

Brenda A. Platt
Director, Materials Recovery
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
2425 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Ph (202) 232-4108 fax (202) 332-0463
Web: <>