Do you still use Styrofoam? 8 new additions to the carcinogens list

Categories: Health

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services kicked off the weekend with an announcement thateight common substances may cause an increased risk of cancer. Among those now listed in the “Report on Carcinogens” are inhalable glass wool fibers and styrene that are present in Styrofoam. Authorities have determined these elements as “reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogen.”

They upgraded formaldehyde, which was already on the list, to a “known human carcinogen.” Aristolochic acids were also deemed to have this risk. Formaldehyde is present in household items that include hair straighteners, bubble bath, cosmetics, glue, household cleaners, wrinkle-free fabrics and particleboard. It can trigger watery eyes, breathing difficulty, asthma attacks, and now has been shown to cause nasal cancer in rats.

The FDA warned consumers to discontinue use of aristhocholic acids ten years ago, linking it to kidney failure and urinary tract cancer. The recently released carcinogen report cites the same dangers. Aristocholic acids are a botanical product used in weight-loss products and dietary supplements.

Also making the list are captafol, powdered and hard metal cobalt-tungsten carbide (found in hiking and ski poles, ball point pens, and used to make wedding rings), o-nitrotoluene and riddelliine.

During the summer months, when Styrofoam cups and food containers are on many picnic tables and at outdoor eateries across the country, this is a particularly startling announcement for consumers. It’s also present in some auto parts, boat parts, and in carpet backing, which could have a big impact on where and how people gather, particularly in warmer weather.

Do you still use Styrofoam? Will you continue after this announcement of the possible upped cancer risk of using these cups and containers?


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