“STYROFOAM FREE HOSPITAL”
By: Frances Gay L. Pia R.N., M.A.N
“Foamed polystyrene” or commonly known as Styrofoam is a petroleum-based plastic made from the styrene monomer. It has been considered as a technological marvel but by others it is an environmental menace. Because of the versatility of Styrofoam, there has been a longstanding concern that the product does not biodegrade. Additionally, physicians are increasingly concerned with the effects of eating from Styrofoam containers. According to the article “Clouds in your Coffee,” scientists have found that when hot food or beverages are placed in polystyrene containers, the styrene chemicals leech from the containers into your food and then into your body. Over time, this can lead to reproductive issues or even cancer (Spurlock, Tamra). Moreover, Styrofoams are non biodegradable which when disposed improperly, will result in clogging of waterways making their way into the ocean, polluting the water and are toxic to sea life.
Last September 21, 2012 the infection control committee implemented the “STYROFOAM FREE POLICY” in our institution. The hospital will no longer be using Styrofoam in the packing of food and all healthcare workers, personnel and staff are encouraged to promote the NO STYROFOAM POLICY by informing and convincing our visitors, clients and watchers to avoid using styrofoams. On the other hand, security personnel are also requested to screen out all healthcare workers and personnel brining in Styrofoam with no consideration and exemptions. Thus, let us all be vigilant in the implementation of the policy for the safety of our environment.