These are also good points. I bet if we knew everything that we put into vivariums that are "bad" for our critters, we would be very surprised... I guess I just try to avoid anything that I know is a possible health risk, especially if there might be other, safer options that can be used instead (GE Silicone II falls into this category for me). I like your pregnant woman analogy. Every keeper of animals has to make numerous decisions that come down to this inconvenient truth. Every keeper likely comes to different conclusions, too. I like to think that we all want what's best for our animals. We do bear a burden to do our research and decide what is best. I appreciate you acknowledging that it might be a problem and folks can make whatever decision they see fit. Me, I am going to go look at the frogs in the 20ish tanks I have with egg crate in them ;-)
Originally Posted by kimcmich
Encyclia brings up a good point to consider. I have a few thoughts:
1) The studies concern styrene monomers and trimers - not the long chain polystyrenes of which styrofoam is built. Polystyrene is non-biodegradable but it can be degraded by sunlight. Even sunlight degradation, however, leads to small bits of polystyrene - not styrene itself. I think the concern over styrenes are more an issue of pollution from plastic manufacture rather than a problem with polystyrene itself. I will admit, however, that I have not found what I would consider to be "hard evidence" one way or the other.
2) Many things are made of polystyrene - including egg crate. Unless you are going with an all-natural materials viv (+ silicone and glass of course!), you may not be able to avoid polystyrene and concerns about leachates from plastics generally.
I feel a bit like someone telling a pregnant woman that smoking one cigarette isn't going to hurt her baby: A single cigarette won't hurt her baby, it's true - but what will she think of me if she her baby is born with a a birth defect after she has that one cigarette?