Does anyone know if
Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive March 2007:
Does anyone know if
there is anything in styrofoam that would cause breathing problems or asthma? For some reason , for the last week or two everyday I am having asthma and have to use my inhaler or my breathing machine ( I forget what it is called).Oh yeah, it's a nebulizer.I generally just have asthma when I'm around something I am allergic to.A few weeks ago we took a long piece of styrofoam and cut it to fit our bedroom windows to block out air and excess light. Now ,as I said earlier,I'm having asthma everyday and in the morning when I first wake up I am very hoarse and my voice is real raspy for a while.I can taste a funny taste in my mouth,also.I'm going to get the gas company to come check for a gas leak,because in a way it smells sort of like gas.But, I'm wondering if there is anything in the styrofoam that might be affecting me.Remember, I have all those crazy allergies.Chemicals of any sort just sends me thru the roof.Two years or so ago I bought a brand new bedroom suite and had to send it back because of the smells of the chemicals on it.Anyway, just wondering if anyone might know if styrofoam can actually cause a problem.
Wanda, it sounds as though you are VERY sensitive to chemicals, and yes, there is more than one harmful substance in styrofoam. The worst one is called urea, and it is a component of animal urine. That is what causes the burning nose, eyes and throat. In the same chemical family with ammonia. It is the urea that you are smelling that smells like gas.
I have read that you should never drink hot drinks, like coffee and tea in styrofoam cups (especially tea), and you should never reheat food in it. The tannins in tea react with the petrochemicals in the styrofoam and cause a toxic substance. For that reason, I will not buy hot coffee at Dunkin Donuts, just iced coffee. Tim Horton's puts their coffee in paper cups so I'll buy it there or bring my own travel mug.
I would take that down if I were you, and air out the room. And DON'T burn it! The smoke that is produced is black and very toxic.
I know what you mean about your bedroom suite. More than thirty years ago, DH and I were going to buy a mobile home when we were stationed in North Carolina. We looked at several brand new ones, however, I wasn't in there but a minute and my throat was burning from the chemicals on the panelling and the carpet. I have asthma, too.