Neurotoxicity of Industrial Chemicals is the New Lead

In my research I found that both the CDC and the FDA either have not been truthful with the people of the United States or are incompetent. Let me Explain in a short time line!

When did we start using Polystyrene food containers?( When were Styrofoam Cups Invented.pdf)

In 1941, researchers in Dow's Chemical Physics Lab found a way to make foamed polystyrene. Led by Ray McIntire, they "rediscovered" a method first discovered by Swedish inventor Carl Georg Munters. Dow acquired exclusive rights to use Munters' patents and found ways to make large quantities of extruded polystyrene as a closed cell foam that resists moisture.

Subsequent experimentation with expandable polystyrene in the late 1950s led to a line of high quality insulated foam cups, and Dart Container Corporation was born.

"Experimentally, styrene tissue distribution after oral acute doses presented highest concentrations in fat, brain, kidney, liver, and pancreas. On repeated exposure styrene gradually accumulated in the adipose tissue but not in other tissues (International Agency for Research on Cancer/IARC, 1979)."

It is very, very, very important to know that the adipose tissue is a major endocrine organ (Adipose tissue.pdf), it has a variety of immune cells; it produces hormones and has to do with obesity! Here is more information from the Mayo clinic. (What is new in adipose tissue: Mayo Clinic.pdf)

The FDA-approved synthetic styrene flavoring as an agent to assists the flavor of ice cream and candy (Mannsville 1993). This is pointed at our children!(styre-sd.pdf)

Environmental Protection and Toxics EPA 749-F-95-019 Pollution Prevention December 1994 Fact Sheet states "Styrene does not occur naturally. "(Styrene Fact Sheet (CAS NO.pdf))

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry September 1995 states Low levels of styrene also occur naturally in a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beverages, and meats. This is very easily explainable!( ATSDR_Styrene5_21_2000G.pdf)

We already know that styrene is very soluble and because of all the emissions from automobiles, trucks, trains, home heating oil and industrial use styrene is in the air and when it rains the styrene attaches to the water droplets and is deposited into our Food Supply because of the environmental conditions.( Spectrum Laboratories _ Chemical Fact Sheet - Cas # 100425 CASRN 100-42-5.pdf) Also some pesticides are made with styrene as an ingredient and all the foods mentioned have fats; that is why we have styrene in our Food Supply, not naturally as the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry states!

TOXICOLOGICAL PROFILE FOR STYRENE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Public Health Service Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry November 2010 Section 6.6 states: "Children are not small adults. A child's exposure may differ from an adult's exposure in many ways." and gives findings of possible exposure levels: "Exposures to styrene while outside, in either winter or spring, were very low (winter: 0.0 g/m3; spring: 0.1 g/m3), whereas exposures were much higher at school (winter: 31.3 g/m3; spring: 39.7 g/m3), but were almost three times higher at home (winter: 91.9 g/m3; spring: 91.9 g/m3) (Adgate et al. 2004). These exposures led to blood level concentrations of styrene that were generally twice as high as the general population (Sexton et al. 2005)".

YET in June 2012 the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry states " There are no studies evaluating the effects of styrene exposure on children or immature animals. It is likely that children would have the same health effects as adults. We do not know whether children would be more sensitive than adults to the effects of styrene." (ATSDRtp53-c1-b.pdf)

I find it very interesting that the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry in 2010 state that children's exposure maybe different from an adult's yet, in 2012, say the health effects are the same as an adult's.

I find it appalling that in June of 2012 the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry also states "There are no studies evaluating the effects of styrene exposure on children or immature animals."

There is an article written by Lynn R. Goldman and Sudha Koduru School of Hygiene and Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA called; Chemicals in the Environment and Developmental Toxicity to Children: A Public Health and Policy Perspective (JohnsHopkinsUniversityPub2000.pdf) Received 5 November 1999; accepted 20 January 2000. This article is based on presentations made at the 20th Rochester Conference on Environmental Toxicity titled "The Role of Environmental Neurotoxicants in Developmental Disabilities" held 23-25 September 1998 in Rochester, New York, and at the conference "Environmental Influences on Children: Brain, Development, and Behavior" held 24-25 May 1999 in New York, New York. Along with another article from the same conferences called Vulnerability of Children and the Developing Brain to Neurotoxic Hazards. (Vulnerability of Children and the Developing Brain to Neurotoxic Hazards.pdf)

Published Online November 8, 2006 by The Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark (Prof P Grandjean MD); Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA (P Grandjean); Department of Community Medicine (Prof PJ Landrigan MD); and Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA (PJ Landrigan) is a paper called "Developmental Neurotoxicity of Industrial Chemicals". (HarvardPub2006.pdf)

Both styrene and benzene are in the list of chemical neurotoxins, within this 2006 paper. I am sure there are many more neurotoxins listed in the FDA's database that is used in and/or around food.

These papers have one thing in common they talk about "Neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, attention deficit disorder, mental retardation, and cerebral palsy are common, costly, and can cause lifelong disability." Although they say the causes of these conditions are unknown they put these neurotoxins in the same class of toxin as lead.

In a 2000 paper it was said that one or two children out of a thousand had autism. March 13, 2013 Kim James Ph.D., BCBA-D The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that approximately 1 in 68 American children are on the autism spectrum. More specifically, it's estimated that 1 in 42 boys, and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the US. This new estimate is roughly 30 percent higher than previous estimates reported in 2012 of 1 in 88 children. (Autism Facts.pdf)

I see this as significant! And I'm not the only ones noticing a problem.

I was watching an episode of The Doctors that aired on ABC and I found it quite interesting, the name of the show was: "Dangerous Secret Food Ingredients; aired April 23, 2014 Lead in: "Food Babe" Vani Hari exposes alarming facts about America's food industry. Then, nutrition labels are getting their first makeover in 20 years. The Doctors weigh in."

What was so interesting about the show was the exact words The Doctors used, "the FDA has been asleep at the wheel for over 30 years because other countries have eliminated the toxins, especially the neurotoxins that are added to the food in the United States". They said that in other countries it is against the law to use toxins and neurotoxins as food additives and that other countries have replaced these with nutritional additives.

So if you go to the FDA food additive database and type in the word styrene you will come up with pages of names that styrene goes by as food additives both directly (Binder3Styrene.pdf) and indirectly (Binder4List of Indirect Styrene Additives Used in Food .pdf). The same thing goes for benzene Directly(Binder2benzene.pdf) and Indirectly(List of Indirect Benzene Additives Used in Food Contact .pdf).

So we've gone from the ice cream and candy of 1993 were the FDA authorized the use of styrene flavoring to pages upon pages of names styrene goes by to flavor whatever the food industry pretty much wants. Along with the polystyrene Food Containers and the other sources of contamination that are listed in the styrene page.

Plastic bottles are another means of styrene contamination if you look at the web site from 2012 (ATSDRtp53-c1-b.pdf)of The Toxic Substances and Disease Registry it states The FDA has determined that the styrene concentration in bottled drinking water should not exceed 0.1 mg/L. Yet, it did not say anything about the other food/beverages that are packaged in plastic bottles that are more acidic like soda or alkali like milk. Our children drink more soda than water and soda is transported the same as water in non refrigerated vehicles therefore letting the bottle breakdown the same as water, yet, this is not mentioned.

How could an agency that is there to protect the people like the FDA authorize the use of neurotoxins to enhance the flavor of food without studies on how it would affect people especially the children? ( Polystyrene & Health Homepage.pdf)

It is my opinion that the FDA could stop the practices of using neurotoxins as a food additive especially those that are listed in the 2006 publication (Developmental Neurotoxicity of Industrial Chemicals). The FDA should also ban polystyrene Food Containers because of the toxicity not only because there are so many ways styrene is being put in our food not naturally but because of the environmental conditions.

There is a limit to what we can do about the FDA except to put pressure on Congress and the President to eliminate these neurotoxins from our Food Supply.

But we can push our local communities to eliminate polystyrene Food Containers like the well over 100 communities have done mostly because of their environmental impact (they fill our landfills and take hundreds if not thousands of years to biodegrade). I believe it is time to eliminate the polystyrene Food Containers because their toxicity as a neurotoxin is so closely linked to lead because of this information. Our children are greatest asset! Why risk degrading their health for a few pennies.

With this said 60 members (1letter from Crongress.pdf) of the House of Representatives wrote in an e-mail to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor on March 11, 2011 trying to eliminate the contamination of styrene from the cafeterias so that themselves and their staff would be healthier.

"The House rejected a Democratic proposal on Friday that would have prevented the House from spending appropriated money on polystyrene foam food and beverage containers in its cafeterias.(HouseRejectsEffortToBanPolystyreneFoam.pdf) Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) offered this proposal as an amendment to the 2013 Legislative Branch appropriations bill, but Republican opposition led to its defeat in a 178-229 vote. Only 10 Republicans joined Democrats in supporting it."

Most people are forced into using these containers by restaurants that pack their food and drink to go in them, or the grocery stores that pack food in these containers for consumers to buy.

Let's take a look at some of the side effects of the polystyrene foam Food Containers according to the e-mail from the over 60 congressmen.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Toxicology Program (NTP) listed styrene as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" in the Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition, released on June 10, 2011. (After extensive research I found that leukemia is the cancer most likely caused by styrene)

In talking to Doug Builoch one of the lead authors of the Albany County, NY law (xLocal Law No A for 2012 Styrofoam 10-30-13.pdf) I was told that he has all the information that you would need to prove this. In the pamphlet there is also an article in how NYC research and Mayor Bloomberg found that environmentally safe containers (Plastic.pdf) were only 2 more per container. I would think that would be cheaper than the cost of the health-care that we are paying today.

In 2010 school students petitioned the Mayor and City Council of CITY OF TAKOMA PARK, MARYLAND to ban use of city funds to purchase polystyrene food service ware. (TakomaParkCityMDCouncil.pdf) You can also see other school students on YouTube petitioning their communities to do away with the polystyrene foam Food Containers because of their toxicity. I found it very, very sad that school children can see the effects of the polystyrene Food Containers and the FDA cannot!

I would also like you to know that the New York State assembly (LBDCinfo.pdf) has passed a bill We are now waiting for the Republican majority of the senate to pass it so it will become law in New York.It will be the first state to ban polystyrene Food Containers. But so far the Republicans are unwilling to bring it to a vote and protect the population of New York.

Charles Lake
Food Safety and Transportation Advocate