On November 25, 2013 restaurant owners united at a public hearing in the New York City Hall to oppose the proposed ban of polystyrene foam from food services, the American chemical industry association American Chemistry Council (ACC) reports in an article published the same day. According to the ACC, more than 2000 business owners previously expressed concern over the ban in letters addressed to their City Hall representatives. Business owners are concerned that alternatives to polystyrene will be twice as expensive, threatening the viability of small businesses. The proposed ban is an initiative by New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg aimed at reducing recycling cost (FPF reported previously). The monomer used to produce polystyrene has been shown to have endocrine disrupting effects. However, according to a 2011 statement by Linda Birnbaum, Director of the U.S. National Toxicology Program, styrene in finished products is not a health issue. Concerns have been raised regarding environmental pollution caused by polystyrene. A recent article reported that styrofoam may decompose at normal water temperatures in oceans and have toxic effects on the ecosystem (FPF reported previously).

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Warren Robinson (November 25, 2013). “NYC Restaurant Owners, Business Leaders, and Community Members Voice their Opposition to the Foam Foodservice Ban at Public Hearing.


Ohyama, KI. et al. (2007). “Effects of prenatal exposure to styrene trimers on genital organs and hormones in male rats”. Experimental Biology and Medicine (Maywood) 232(2):301–8.

Yanagiba, Y. et al. (2008). “Styrene trimer may increase thyroid hormone levels via downregulation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) target gene UDP-glucuronosyltransferase”. Environmental Health Perspectives 116(6):740–5.

FPF article ""

FPF article "Opinion: Styrofoam toxic to oceans"