A small amount of Styrofoam shouldn't cause any health problems, but it does contain some harmful chemicals. According to the AAFP, foreign objects usually pass through the digestive tract without requiring medical intervention.Know More
Styrofoam is a foam plastic that is made from styrene monomers. It is popular as an insulator in packaging and for food. There are hazardous chemicals in Styrofoam, including styrene and diethylhexyl adipate. When exposed to heat or acids, these chemicals can leach out of the Styrofoam in small amounts. This is partly why Styrofoam is not considered microwave-safe, as the plastic also breaks down easily. However, if used to drink or eat cool items, Styrofoam is safe.
The American Academy of Family Physicians says that most foreign objects pass easily through the digestive tract without causing problems. If a small amount of Styrofoam is accidentally eaten it probably won't harm the body. A large amount of Styrofoam may get stuck in the esophagus, stomach or the intestines. It won't be digested, potentially blocking the system up and causing problems. After an examination, the doctor may decide to remove the blockage by pulling it out or pushing it through the tight spot. This depends on where the Styrofoam is caught in the body.Learn more about Conditions & Diseases
Styrofoam does not decompose in the environment under normal circumstances. Much like plastic, Styrofoam is made from a polystyrene-based petroleum product that is not biodegradable. Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose, and Styrofoam takes much longer because it is a stronger form of plastic.Full Answer >
While many things eventually break down after a number of years, Styrofoam is one of the few things that does not biodegrade. Tinfoil also does not biodegrade, while aluminum cans take up to 250 years to completely break down, and sanitary pads last up to 800 years.Full Answer >
The benefits of recycling Styrofoam include reduced pollution, more effective use of landfill space and decreased risk to fish and other marine life. Recycling Styrofoam also eliminates the toxic gases created when the material is burned improperly. Manufacturing Styrofoam requires petroleum, and recycling alleviates demand for this non-renewable resource.Full Answer >
Small-scale model houses can be made out of Styrofoam, using glue or pins and a utility knife. Alternatively, houses that are large enough to live in can be constructed out of Styrofoam using plastic ribbing and concrete for reinforcement.Full Answer >