Lethal Lunch This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     Styrofoam is derived from polystyrene, which contains styrene. According to Vanity Fair’s Green Issue and National Geographic’s thegreenguide.com, styrene poses a potential health threat - especially to young children.

Studies suggest that styrene may act like the hormone estrogen in the body, disrupting normal hormone functions and possibly affecting reproduction. Styrene mimics the body’s natural hormones when absorbed by the skin, throwing off normal hormone levels. It is also considered a possible human carcinogen, or cancer-causing substance. So not only may Styrofoam mess with hormone levels, it can cause a deadly disease as well. The absorption of styrene into the body increases when the substance comes into contact with food that’s hot or high in fat.

By drinking coffee from a ceramic mug, and not a Styrofoam cup, you can not only eliminate the health risk but also protect the environment from a substance that takes hundreds of years to decompose.

Girls are getting their periods earlier and earlier, which has been attributed to altered hormone levels. But don’t think that only girls are affected; “precocious puberty” has shown up in young boys due to problematic hormone changes, according to Vanity Fair. However, unless a school has the money to become green, it’s up to individuals to protect themselves against such hazards.

The real debate is the dilemma between health and money. My school’s financial advisor says the school should consider this issue immediately. He does not believe that paper cups and plates could cost much more than Styrofoam (1,000 cups cost $14.29, and 1,000 plates cost $30). According to Costco.com, 1,000 paper cups cost $70, and 1,000 paper plates cost $29.55. However, paper cups would be unnecessary if everyone drank bottled water, milk from the paper cartons, and coffee from ceramic mugs. Students pay to go to my school, so if the students don’t want Styrofoam, we can get rid of it.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
yesterday at 7:18 am
i love this so much!
ConstanceContraire said...
Apr. 19, 2013 at 8:50 pm
Norway early 1800's girls didn't get their periods until 17. 
AmillamissPriscilla said...
Apr. 5, 2011 at 9:08 am
you state such great point in the report. I want my school to go green, too bad they are too republican to care. Anyway... Cancer can be caused by so many things, so it never keeps you clean from it. And you can get cancer from certain types of water bottles/plastics, and some schools don't allow mugs or water bottles unless they are clear/white. so there is no color and you can see the substance. The only real water bottles you can find like that are recyclable and still bad for the enviornment... (more »)
Bethani said...
Sept. 26, 2010 at 6:04 pm
Wow! I had no idea. This is really informative. :)
htrae22 replied...
Mar. 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm
well written i had no idea
BasketballChick5 said...
Mar. 10, 2010 at 9:21 pm
I agree with this....good job but getting your periods earlier and earlier...that must be an opion!
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