Target: Speaker of the House John Boehner
Goal: Ban harmful styrofoam material in the United States
Polystyrene packaging, otherwise known as styrofoam, is used in various restaurants as plates or cups. But according to scientists, styrofoam contains harmful chemicals and the material should be banned to protect our health. Despite these warnings, styrofoam continues to be used in various items. Tell Speaker of the House John Boehner to ban this hazardous material in the United States.
Styrofoam contains a chemical compound called styrene and is considered by the National Toxicology Program to be “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen.” The International Agency for Research on Cancer also believes that styrene is a possible carcinogen, but with all of these claims, styrofoam continues to be used for common items such as milk cartons, cups, plates, and salad boxes. Those who work with styrofoam on a day-to day-basis, are more likely to develop diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma, and experience genetic damage to their white blood cells. The chemical has been shown to cause lung tumors in mice.
But styrofoam doesn’t pose a risk to humans, it also poses a risk to our environment. Annually, 20 million pounds of this hazardous material gets dumped into our environment, with 17.4 million tons of Styrofoam accumulating in our air, and another 1.7 million pounds in our water. The waste clogs up our waterways, and ends up as debris in our oceans. Animals will also mistake these items as food, ingesting them, and making them sick.
In light of these claims, and others backed by scientists, the United States needs to place a ban on Styrofoam. It is hazardous to our health, the environment, and our animals. Urge Speaker of the House John Boehner to place a ban on this material immediately.
Dear John Boehner,
I know that Democrats are rallying for a ban of styrofoam in the House cafeteria because of the dangers it poses to our health. The District of Columbia recently passed a ban that forbade the use of styrofoam in restaurants and food trucks. This is an extremely commendable act, but this ban needs to be in place nationwide.
I am writing this letter urging you to draft and support a law that will ban styrofoam in the United States. The chemical compound styrene is considered to be a carcinogen, and contributes to an increased risk of contracting diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma. In lab mice, these animals developed lung tumors and such consequences could be seen in humans. There is an inherent danger to this material and I urge you to stop it from polluting our environment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: marc from Wikimedia Commons