Heller said she’s also concerned that the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, added styrene — which is used to make polystyrene — to a list of materials that are reasonably anticipated to be carcinogens.
The federal agency added the substance to its 2011 Report on Carcinogens, which said styrene can leach from the containers into food products.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences website, however, states that the listing of styrene in the Report of Carcinogens was based on high levels of exposure, such as what a worker might be exposed to in an industrial setting, not the small amount of styrene used in a coffee cup.
But Heller said she won’t accept any food or beverages in a plastic foam container. She said her warrant article is also intended to look out for people who may not be aware of the health concerns about polystyrene.
“You want to protect people who don’t have the knowledge or the information,” she said.
Brock Parker can be reached at email@example.com.