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Health & Environmental Links

Under New York City Rule, It’s the Packaging, Not the Food, That’s to Go

Urban Schools Aim for Environmental Revolution

NYC Waste Less! All about Styrofoam
(DSNY Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling)

Rise above plastics: Current Polystyrene Ban List

National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) NY Region, Recycling and Waste

A Warning by Key Researcher On Risks of BPA in Our Lives
by Elizabeth Kolbert

The synthetic chemical, BPA — found in everything from plastic bottles to cash register receipts — is a potent, estrogen-mimicking compound. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, biologist Frederick vom Saal harshly criticizes U.S. corporations and government regulators for covering up — or ignoring — the many health risks of BPA.

Conservation Magazine January-March 2010 (Vol. 11 No. 1)
By Susan Casey
Garbage In, Garbage Out
When a single swath of ocean contains more plastic than plankton, the simple act of taking out the trash becomes a grueling scientific challenge
Ask a group of people to name an overwhelming global problem, and you'll hear about climate change, the Middle East, or AIDS. No one, it is guaranteed, will cite the sloppy transport of nurdles as a concern. And yet nurdles, lentil-sized pellets of plastic in its rawest form, are especially effective couriers of waste chemicals called persistent organic pollutants, or POPs, which include known carcinogens such as DDT and PCBs.

OP-ED COLUMNIST, NY Times, 11/8/29
Chemicals in Our Food, and Bodies
Your body is probably home to a chemical called bisphenol A, or BPA. It's a synthetic estrogen that United States factories now use in everything from plastics to epoxies — to the tune of six pounds per American per year. That's a lot of estrogen.

More than 92 percent of Americans have BPA in their urine, and scientists have linked it — though not conclusively — to everything from breast cancer to obesity, from attention deficit disorder to genital abnormalities in boys and girls alike.

Now it turns out it's in our food.

NYTimes, 10/29/08
Panel Rebukes F.D.A. on Plastic Safety
A scientific panel has issued a blistering report against the Food and Drug Administration, saying the agency ignored important evidence in reassuring consumers about the safety of the controversial chemical bisphenol-A.

NYTimes, 5/4/09
Well: Earlier Puberty in European Girls

A 15-year study of young girls in Denmark add to a growing body of evidence that the timing of puberty is changing, possibly related to environmental exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body.

Bio-Medicine, 6/1/05
Plastic to Cause Breast Cancer

development to cause breast cancer in adult life.

Children's Environmental Health Network, 1/09
How a common plastic ingredient may affect obesity and related diseases.

Grinning Planet
Polystyrene Foam Cups & Containers, Styrene Migration, and Your Health

Environment and Human Health, Inc.
The plastics problem is growing in scale and complexity due to a collision of factors, including government neglect of the importance of endocrine disruption; the explosive growth of the U.S. and international plastics industry; the absence of any plastic ingredient and source labeling requirements; nearly complete recycling failure for PVC and polycarbonate plastics; environmental contamination of air, water, soils, oceans, fish and wildlife; nearly universal human exposure to BPA and DEHP from food and beverages in high income nations; the dependence of the plastics industry on petroleum; and government failure to require health and environmental testing prior to chemical production, sale, and disposal. Collectively, these pose a serious challenge to the environment and human health., Polystyrene & Health Homepage

Environmental Health Perspectives, Bisphenol A at Environmentally Relevant Doses Inhibits Adiponectin Release from Human Adipose Tissue Explants and Adipocytes

Earth Resources Foundation, report on Polystyrene Foam Report

City of San Clemente, California Polystyerene Ban

Resource Conservation,
Portland Public School Washable Tray Pilot Project

Plastics vs. the Environment, The Polystyrene Page
Problems with production, health, environment and disposal Web Resources for Environmental Justice Activists,
Eliminate the Use of Polystyrene

NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation
Green Schools-Recycling and More

New York's Green Cleaning Program, Be clean, be green, be healthy

Times OnLine
Mission to break up Pacific island of rubbish twice the size of Texas
A high-seas mission departs from San Francisco next month to map and explore a sinister and shifting 21st-century continent: one twice the size
of Texas and created from six million tonnes of discarded plastic.

New York Times, 4/13/09, Using Fungi to Replace Styrofoam

The Gazette, 3/6/09, The Styrofoam dilemma

Technology Transfer Network Air Toxics Web Site,
Styrene Hazard Summary-Created in 4/92; Revised in 1/00

State Senator Liz Krueger (D- Manhattan) working to limit polystyrene use

Press Links
May 12, 2010, Gotham
One Mom’s Mission to Get Rid of Styrofoam Trays

by Elizabeth Puccini and Anisa Romero
We interviewed Debby Lee, a teacher at Parsons The New School for Design, to find out the health and environmental hazards of using Styrofoam and what parents and educators can do to get rid of the Styrofoam trays at their schools.

April 22, 2010
NEW YORK CITY – On Earth Day, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, State Senator Liz Krueger, and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh launched a statewide campaign to end government use of Styrofoam. The campaign kicked off with an early morning rally at a Manhattan public school featuring parents, students, and piles of Styrofoam trays and cups collected from schools and government buildings.

NY1 News
April 22, 2010
Bill DeBlasio's Press Conference announcing the inniotiative to end the use of Styrofoam in NYC government

Press Conference


Download Empire State Building Poster
Empire State Poster

SOS City Council Testimony

Styrofoam Out Of Government Buildings
School districts in LA, NYC, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Orlando, plan to use their collective clout
2.5 million daily meals
$530 million annually

to make wholesome food a national standard. The districts are also aiming for more eco-friendly practices — replacing polystyrene and plastic
with biodegradable trays and flatware
New York Times Headline
The US House of Representatives voted to put
Mount Sinai Environmental Medicine
"As Environmental Pediatricians at Mount Sinai
Children's Environmental Health Center, we
support the SOS campaign to reduce use of
styrofoam trays."
- Perry Elizabeth Sheffield, MD
Ban Styrofoam Plan