April 3, 2013

Another View: Newspaper sows 'chemophobia' with unfounded positions

Styrofoam containers are not the threat that uninformed critics make them out to be.


I am a retired organic chemist and found your recent editorial on the subject troubling ("Our View: Portland right to cut foam food containers," March 12).

It is media reports like this that perpetuate the chemophobia that is prevalent in Maine.

To compare foam containers to lead in gasoline or mercury thermometers is irresponsible. It causes unfounded hysteria.

Foam containers are made of polystyrene, not styrene. To comment on the toxicity of styrene is misleading and wrong.

Have you ever found a scientific study that concludes polystyrene causes cancer? No.

Have you ever compared the shelf life of a paper container in a modern-day landfill? They will be around a long time, too.

I hope the city of Portland puts more thought into its ordinance than your editorial did.

James Albright, Ph.D., is a resident of Bristol.


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