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Dems: Congress's Styrofoam cups could cause cancer
The Hill ^

Posted on 03/08/2011 12:56:14 PM PST by Sub-Driver

Dems: Congress's Styrofoam cups could cause cancer By Jordan Fabian - 03/08/11 11:04 AM ET

A group of Democrats complain Styrofoam cups in the House cafeteria could contain carcinogens.

In a letter to Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and other Republican leaders, the nine Democrats say the Styrofoam cups and other dining materials could hold chemical components that could cause cancer. The Democrats are upset with the switch to Styrofoam from recyclable materials put into place when Democrats ran the House.

The letter asks Boehner to reconsider the switch away from recyclable to polystyrene-based foam containers, and warns that the health of visitors to the Capitol could be compromised.

"The irresponsibility of the decision to use polystyrene foam without considering other options is all the more egregious because the cafeteria is not merely used by House members and our staffers," the lawmakers write. "The health of constituents and visitors to the Hill who eat in the cafeteria will be impacted by this short-sighted decision."

The change to Styrofoam caused a stir among some staffers and Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill late last month, when the recyclable material preferred by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was replaced. Lawmakers mostly raised concerns about Styrofoam's impact on the environment.

Republicans have downplayed the harmful health and environmental effects of Styrofoam and said that the composting program in place under Pelosi cost too much money and did not do enough to bring down energy consumption.

But the Democratic letter cited toxicology studies that claim polystyrene contains "possible human carcinogens" and could present other health challenges, such as headaches, hearing loss, central nervous system dysfunction and difficulty sleeping.

"Eliminating polystyrene-related health impacts will result in fewer lost work days and lower heath insurance costs for the House and its staff," the lawmakers write. "This benefit alone should outweigh any cost savings from using polystyrene containers."

The "Dear Colleague" notice soliciting signatures from other lawmakers, which was circulated by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), is titled "Cancer Causing Cups in the Cafeteria?"

The other lawmakers who signed the letter are Reps. James Moran (D-Va.), George Miller (D-Calif.), Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine).

Here is the full letter from the nine Democrats:

Speaker John Boehner Majority Leader Eric Cantor

1011 Longworth House Office Building 303 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515

Chairman Dan Lungren

House Administration Committee

2313 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

March 11, 2011

Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and Chairman Lungren:

We are writing to express our deep concern with the current choice to use polystyrene products, commonly known as “styrofoam,”[1][1] in the House of Representatives cafeterias. While we appreciate that the CAO is working to reduce costs, there are significant health and environmental risks associated with styrofoam, as well as additional costs associated with increased waste removal. These external costs should be considered in making the decision for cafeteria products; the desire to save a few pennies should never come at the expense of jeopardizing staff, members and visitors’ health. Over 20 years ago, McDonalds and other fast food restaurants replaced polystyrene foam with recyclable and paperboard containers. More than 100 cities have also chosen to ban polystyrene foam for health and environmental reasons. Adopting the same standard is the least we can do.

We have numerous concerns about the safety of polystyrene foam products. Polystyrene foam products can leach their component chemicals into the foods and liquids they contain. Leaching of styrene and benzene is documented with nearly 40 years of scientific evidence, as are the resulting negative health impacts.[2][2] During the manufacturing process, acute short-term exposure to styrene can result in irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, and mucous membranes as well as gastrointestinal effects.

Over time, exposure to the styrene that leaches into food and liquids can cause extensive health effects, including fatigue, headaches, hearing loss, central nervous system dysfunction, difficulty sleeping, as well as low platelet and hemoglobin values and chromosomal abnormalities.[3][3][4][4] The International Association for Research on Cancer classified styrene as a potential human carcinogen. Eliminating polystyrene-related health impacts will result in fewer lost work days and lower heath insurance costs for the House and its staff. This benefit alone should outweigh any cost savings from using polystyrene containers.

Polystyrene foam products continue to threaten public health and the environment after they are used and discarded. Polystyrene is not easily or cheaply recycled, and there are significant health and environmental impacts from the 25 million polystyrene foam cups that are thrown away per year. When disposed of in landfills, products made of polystyrene take over half a millennium to biodegrade. While in landfills, polystyrene chemicals can leach into groundwater, jeopardizing water quality. The safe incineration of polystyrene foam requires extremely high heat in specialized plants. Incineration at normal heat levels releases over 90 different hazardous chemicals, polluting the air quality of those communities surrounding the waste plants and burdening them with increased health risks and costs.

Although we strongly support efforts to reduce costs in the federal government, it is our understanding that the cafeteria operations generate profits for the House – an estimated $879,000 for 2010. Any costs associated with composting or any of the other environmentally sound options were always meant to be offset by these profits. Those of us who are concerned about the health and safety of Members, staff and visitors feel that this is certainly a worthwhile use for these proceeds.

The irresponsibility of the decision to use polystyrene foam without considering other options is all the more egregious because the cafeteria is not merely used by House members and our staffers. The health of constituents and visitors to the Hill who eat in the cafeteria will be impacted by this short-sighted decision. We urge you to bear in mind our responsibility to protect the health and welfare of the American public, now and in future generations, and to reconsider the decision to use Polystyrene foam in our cafeteria.

Sincerely,


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cancer; recycling; styrofoam
They all need a medical evaluation.........
1 posted on 03/08/2011 12:56:21 PM PST by Sub-Driver
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To: Sub-Driver

My suggestion would be to stop eating the cups.....


2 posted on 03/08/2011 12:57:25 PM PST by joe fonebone (Project Gunwalker, this will make watergate look like the warm up band......)
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To: Sub-Driver

Oh my sub...be prepared for the thread police any minute. It will start ever so subtly with a ‘link’ to the prior posting and then some snarky remark will follow.

Just wanted to give you a heads up.


3 posted on 03/08/2011 12:58:22 PM PST by Outlaw Woman
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To: Sub-Driver

Here’s an idea: Bring your own cups, morons.


4 posted on 03/08/2011 12:58:36 PM PST by dainbramaged (If you want a friend, get a pit bull.)
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To: Sub-Driver

I would strongly disagree with the premise that Styrofoam cups cause Democrats.


5 posted on 03/08/2011 1:00:16 PM PST by Steamburg (The contents of your wallet is the only language Politicians understand.)
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To: Sub-Driver
These people are pathetic yet they usually “own” their Republican counterparts.
6 posted on 03/08/2011 1:00:20 PM PST by ryan71 (Dear spell check - No, I will not capitalize the "m" in moslem!)
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To: Sub-Driver

Just think...death...lurking by your office coffee machine!

This is scandalous!

Where’s Mrs. Obama?


7 posted on 03/08/2011 1:02:16 PM PST by RexBeach (There is no such thing as a good tax.- Winston Churchill)
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To: Sub-Driver

Dems cause cancer, sillies.


8 posted on 03/08/2011 1:02:41 PM PST by TruthConquers ( Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: Steamburg

“I would strongly disagree with the premise that Styrofoam cups cause Democrats.”

Heh!

Agree, both are vile perturbations of nature and both should be destroyed promptly and thoroughly.


9 posted on 03/08/2011 1:04:44 PM PST by Da Coyote
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To: Steamburg
I would strongly disagree with the premise that Styrofoam cups cause Democrats.

What do they ship Styrofoam in?

10 posted on 03/08/2011 1:05:30 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Sub-Driver

I read about this earlier today. What they should have done is stop the funding for “green” cups and silverware and let the DC Contractors figure it out for themselves.

It would have been a great exercise in the brilliant running of even the simplest function of DC Vendors/Union/B@llsh@t.

This way they only get media BS spin. Of course the fact that it ticks them off is entertaining to say the least.


11 posted on 03/08/2011 1:06:45 PM PST by poobear (FACTS - the turd in the punch bowl of liberal thought!)
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To: Sub-Driver

Congressional Dems need to stay off airplanes.


12 posted on 03/08/2011 1:06:58 PM PST by sionnsar (IranAzadi|5yst3m 0wn3d-it's N0t Y0ur5:SONY|http://pure-gas.org|Must be a day for changing taglines)
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To: Sub-Driver

Can they prove their recycled paper cups CAN’T cause cancer?


13 posted on 03/08/2011 1:07:54 PM PST by tacticalogic
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To: Sub-Driver

Looks like the Democrats are onto us. Launching plane “B”.

Meanwhile: The friggen world is going to hell in a handbasket while these fools fight over the really, really big problems..

Suggestion: Buy your own damn coffee cup.

A special prayer: Dear God, I know that you have had loads of fun with this, but your human experiment is just not working out. Please stop the insanity and consider bringing back the dinosaurs. Thanks....


14 posted on 03/08/2011 1:08:33 PM PST by Gator113 (I'll be voting for Sarah Palin, Liberty, our Constitution and American Exceptionalism.)
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To: Sub-Driver

I read this earlier, but didn’t comment, and thanks Sub-Driver for the opportunity to comment by posting this thread.

Notice the wording here in this quote from the article please:

“A group of Democrats complain Styrofoam cups in the House cafeteria could contain carcinogens.”

Notice the word “could”? Just like everything else the bastards on the Left complain of..., legislate against without any scientific proof whatsoever, without any real “consensus”, just bullshit they drive the topic of the day, and create laws, or cause a stand down for the sole purpose of getting their way so they can huff and puff with chest out, and give the appearance of doing something.

We the people have to take a stand against bullshit.


15 posted on 03/08/2011 1:08:55 PM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: Sub-Driver

I’m SURE a lobbyist will be happy to provide these congresscritters with a “coffee cup” any time or any place.


16 posted on 03/08/2011 1:09:34 PM PST by radioone (Proud to be an enemy of Obama)
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To: Sub-Driver

Dear Rep. Blumenauer:

If you are concerned about long term exposure effects to your health from the styofoam products in the cafeteria, I suggest you could consider retirement or resignation. Problem solved, no more exposure.

VERY Sincerely,
Speaker Boehner


17 posted on 03/08/2011 1:11:21 PM PST by Cletus.D.Yokel (Islam is a violent and tyrannical political ideology and has nothing to do with "religion".)
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To: Sub-Driver

Well maybe they could minimize their exposure by planning shorter careers.


18 posted on 03/08/2011 1:12:29 PM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Sub-Driver

I think somebody should use Styrofoam products to make toilet paper used by the House.

The wait for 6 months before we make it public and watch them sweat... I’ll bet they won’t be able to sit still. LOL


19 posted on 03/08/2011 1:13:20 PM PST by Gator113 (I'll be voting for Sarah Palin, Liberty, our Constitution and American Exceptionalism.)
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To: Sub-Driver
Over time, exposure to the styrene that leaches into food and liquids can cause extensive health effects,...

Sheesh, how long are they leaving the coffee in the cup?

Maybe I should send a congressman a Chinese-made leaded-porciline coffee cup...

20 posted on 03/08/2011 1:13:28 PM PST by Never on my watch (WTF happened to my country?)
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To: Outlaw Woman
then some snarky remark

You bet! See #3 for the first one!

21 posted on 03/08/2011 1:17:23 PM PST by SeeSac
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To: Sub-Driver

So happy I could share my congresscritter’s styraphopia with the rest of the nation.


22 posted on 03/08/2011 1:18:14 PM PST by crazyhorse691 (Now that the libs are in power dissent is not only unpatriotic, but, it is also racist.)
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To: Never on my watch

You have to really stop and think to realize they are serious about this nonsense.

Incredible. Last time I checked styrofoam cups are legal and widely used by the “rest of us”.


23 posted on 03/08/2011 1:18:26 PM PST by Williams (It's the policies, stupid.)
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To: Outlaw Woman
It will start ever so subtly with a ‘link’ to the prior posting

And ... just what is wrong with a link to the earlier thread? You make it seem so evil.

24 posted on 03/08/2011 1:18:31 PM PST by SeeSac
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To: joe fonebone
My suggestion would be to stop eating the cups.....

Agree, they should stick to paint chips...

25 posted on 03/08/2011 1:19:44 PM PST by gov_bean_ counter (I am declaring 2011 the year of ME.)
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To: joe fonebone
My suggestion would be to stop eating the cups.....

Made me laugh. Remember the kids who always ate paste in elementary school?

26 posted on 03/08/2011 1:20:29 PM PST by Faith
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To: Never on my watch

So how long have styrofoam coffee cups been around? 60 years? And nobody has gotten cancer from them yet.


27 posted on 03/08/2011 1:21:14 PM PST by boop ("Let's just say they'll be satisfied with LESS"... Ming the Merciless)
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To: dainbramaged

Use a washable, ceramic mug. Rather than throwing it away after every use, you merely wash it, and it is ready to use again.


28 posted on 03/08/2011 1:22:24 PM PST by jmcenanly ( "We pay a person the compliment of acknowledging his superiority whenever we lie to him." -Samuel)
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To: dainbramaged

“Here’s an idea: Bring your own cups, morons.”

Totally agree - it’s not as if they’re in the same place for their coffee every day over the course of their years in office, is it?


29 posted on 03/08/2011 1:24:21 PM PST by OldNewYork (social justice isn't justice; it's just socialism)
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To: Sub-Driver

If styrofoam is so bad for the environment, why do they put it in potting soil?

Idiots.


30 posted on 03/08/2011 1:30:21 PM PST by bolobaby
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To: Gator113
Meanwhile: The friggen world is going to hell in a handbasket while these fools fight over the really, really big problems..

We are reminded hourly of these (D)s - Liberalism is a mental disorder.

31 posted on 03/08/2011 1:30:39 PM PST by Digger ((If RINO is your selection, then failure is your election))
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To: Sub-Driver
More proof that there is no limit to what democrats do NOT know.

Styrofoam is VERY recyclable and in fact is one of the MOST recyclable products. The “destroy America under the guise of the environment” crowd have been listening to their own lies for so long they no believe this like it was a religion.

There is a very good use for Styrofoam as a substructure under roads which greatly improves the road's long term stability and reduces maintenance.

32 posted on 03/08/2011 1:50:09 PM PST by Wurlitzer (Welcome to the new USSA (United Socialist States of Amerika))
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To: Sub-Driver

Idiots. All of them.


33 posted on 03/08/2011 1:50:09 PM PST by cydcharisse (`)
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To: Digger

2012 can’t get here soon enough. I enjoyed life much better when I could think of the future of America... and smile.


34 posted on 03/08/2011 1:58:27 PM PST by Gator113 (I'll be voting for Sarah Palin, Liberty, our Constitution and American Exceptionalism.)
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To: Sub-Driver
Didn't they try and associate the manufacture of these cups a few days ago to the Koch brothers? It seems that the head of the company used to work for a company that the Koch brothers bought and they tried desperately to try and connect the two of them, but it turns out that there seemed to be very little if any overlap of his employment and the Koch ownership.
There are trillions and billions of dollars of debt to control and civil uprest throughout the Middle East and two wars we are involved in, but those cups take top priority.
Cups of are of the utmost concern. Cups. Seriously, Cups??? Well at least cups is something that the Democrats might actually understand, unlike the rest of the problems that they should be dealing with.
35 posted on 03/08/2011 2:06:55 PM PST by madinmadtown (Marx, the patron saint of blame, envy and destruction.)
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To: Wurlitzer
Styrofoam under the road & a very small steam line from any local powerplant would eliminate most all need for destructive salt/plow operations (& pay for itself w/savings).
36 posted on 03/08/2011 2:08:42 PM PST by de.rm ("Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, 3 times is enemy action. Auric Goldfinger Let us prey)
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To: dainbramaged
Here’s an idea: Bring your own cups, morons.


37 posted on 03/08/2011 2:37:53 PM PST by Fido969 ("The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." - Albert Einstein)
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To: SeeSac

so what is your point? You haven’t been around here long enough to understand the point apparently.


38 posted on 03/08/2011 2:44:58 PM PST by Outlaw Woman
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To: Sub-Driver

They know all the dangers and yet haven’t directed the FDA to take action to HALT production of the offensive material???

Wasn’t aware outsiders - visitors/constituents could eat in the House cafeteria. Who would even want to?


39 posted on 03/08/2011 2:49:35 PM PST by Thank You Rush
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To: Sub-Driver

The next letter will be to Speaker Boehner ordering him to STOP SMOKING!


40 posted on 03/08/2011 3:15:25 PM PST by Thank You Rush
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To: All; Sub-Driver

I did a quick search and it looks like those infamous science deniers at Harvard Medical and Johns Hopkins believe styrofoam is safe even when microwaved. The problem with styrofoam seems to be one of trash collection. If it was the public menace these Dems say, why is it still sold in office supply stores and elsewhere for food uses?


41 posted on 03/08/2011 5:17:24 PM PST by newzjunkey (AB80 moves CA presidential primary to June, why bother voting?)
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To: newzjunkey
I did a quick search and it looks like those infamous science deniers at Harvard Medical and Johns Hopkins believe styrofoam is safe even when microwaved. The problem with styrofoam seems to be one of trash collection. If it was the public menace these Dems say, why is it still sold in office supply stores and elsewhere for food uses?

Could you post a link? I'd like to forward it to my congressman. He's a tea partier who defeated a 14 term 'RAT in a district none of the RNC types thought was winnable by any Republican.

42 posted on 03/08/2011 5:37:13 PM PST by Paleo Conservative
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To: Outlaw Woman
so what is your point? You haven’t been around here long enough to understand the point apparently.

My point was that you interjected a snarky comment suggesting that idiots would be posting snarky comments.

43 posted on 03/09/2011 10:39:49 AM PST by SeeSac
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To: SeeSac

Just to be clear: My comment was directed toward the would-be ‘thread police’ that normally come on and start posting links and commenting about ‘it’s been posted before’ etc. and not toward the poster.


44 posted on 03/09/2011 11:07:46 AM PST by Outlaw Woman
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To: Outlaw Woman
Just to be clear: My comment was directed toward the would-be ‘thread police’ that normally come on and start posting links and commenting about ‘it’s been posted before’ etc. and not toward the poster.

Just to be clear, you posted BEFORE any links were posted. Besides, what is wrong with providing a link to an earlier post of the story?

45 posted on 03/09/2011 11:09:38 AM PST by SeeSac
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To: All

this is how it works, ceramic needs to be cleaned using phosphates so we can’t use that. Paper kills trees, so we can’t use that.. Styrofoam (if 300 lbs eaten twice a day for 75 years) causes cancer.. Why don’t they just do all of us a favor and use their hands or better yet just stop eating..


46 posted on 03/09/2011 11:15:29 AM PST by newnhdad (The longest of journeys begins with one step.)
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To: SeeSac

Look dude or whatever you are I explained the context. Do you have OCD?


47 posted on 03/09/2011 11:50:47 AM PST by Outlaw Woman
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To: Outlaw Woman
Look dude or whatever you are I explained the context. Do you have OCD?

You never answered my question. Why do you consider a link to an earlier thread to be 'snarky'?

Your post condeming 'thread police' when there are none on the thread makes you look like a the 'thread snarky policeman'.

48 posted on 03/09/2011 12:02:45 PM PST by SeeSac
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