BATAC CITY (May 17)—The second-best Department of Health hospital in the country has launched an anti-Styrofoam use campaign to help protect public health and the environment.
The Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital & Medical Center based in this new city is banning the use of Styrofoam products within its premises.
According to Dr Jose Orosa III, chair of the Department of Otolaryngology, this is the hospital’s way of saving Mother Earth and at the same time protect people from the health hazards caused by Styrofoam.
“People use styrofoam products often as food containers and coffee cups. But they do not realize it is harmful in many ways. It is not biodegradable; it is harmful to human and it is harmful to the environment. We must stop using Styrofoam,” Dr Orosa said.
Inside the hospital, the public is constantly warned via posters not to use Styrofoam products.
Security guards who routinely inspect bags of those coming into, and going out of the hospital are now also in the look out if there are Styrofoam food containers inside their bags.
Scientists have warned that toxic chemicals leach from the Styrofoam into the food they hold, especially if reheated in the microwave.
People may not be aware that it is made from polystyrene, which is a petroleum-based plastic that is non-sustainable and heavily-polluting resource.
In fact, Styrofoam is the trade name for polystyrene. What is used as food container is also used as insulation and packaging.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has established polystyrene as a possible human carcinogen. Simply put, it is a toxic substance. Some of its acute health effects include irritation of the eyes, skin and upper respiratory tract and gastrointestinal problems
. Symptoms of chronic exposure include depression, headache, fatigue, weakness, kidney problem.Along with the health risks associated with it, scientists noted 57 chemical by-products that are released during the manufacture of Styrofoam, which goes into the atmosphere.
Styrofoam products also fill up landfills and it will take hundreds of years to decompose. It is the fifth largest creator of hazardous waste in the world. (PIA Ilocos Norte)