Tuesday, July 25, 2017

To Avoid More Plastic - -



Avoid the Medical Profession



For some, this month has been “Plastic Free July”. A local government effort in Australia has the aim “to raise awareness of the problems with single-use disposable plastic and challenges people to do something about it” (emphasis is mine). A bit of a narrow scope, but better to start somewhere than not start at all.

What is plastic? The Australian Council refers to plastic bottles, bags and take-away containers. We all know what they are. But plastic is a material of wide ranging applications today. It consists of synthetic and semi-synthetic compounds that can be molded into solid objects and mixed with other substances..

Just as its versatility is big, so is the problem. Sure, even I, a holistic nature-minded person, like to use plastic bags sometimes to keep food fresh, but the situation with plastic on this planet is so pervasive that it truly is scary.

In a very real sense, we are becoming plastic and I don’t mean as in changeable, e.g., rhinoplasty. I mean our biological organic cells in the form of organs and other body parts are being replaced with plastic, possibly even in ways we are not aware of. But we are aware of dentists putting plastic fillings in our teeth; of plastic eyeglasses, contact lenses and IOLs (Interlocutory Lenses); of plastic hearing aids;  prosthetic limbs, stents, heart replacements, and joint replacements; and medications (“coatings and pharmaceutical nano-carriers for drugs”).

The medical profession possibly uses more plastic than most, and if you are a patient, you are contributing to this usage. Much of it is disposable, and disposed of on a massive scale.

The photo to the left shows the clinical waste for less than a week at a care home with about 20 residents.

Some daily disposed of articles are: pill cups, syringes, and bottle caps, gloves, aprons, and garbage bags; catheters, and pad covers (for incontinence); pouches for liquids such as blood, saline; and glucose drips, and liquid food; glues; name badges, wrist bands and toe tags; braces and bandages. 
                  
Some items that are not disposed of daily but are accumulating quickly are: bed mattresses and covers; plastic sheets, and pillow covers; toilet seat covers of varying sizes, and shower chairs; furniture; x-ray machines, MRI machines and other medical machines; computers, keyboards and mice; TVs, remote controls and phones; notebooks, page covers, lamination and pens; pipes in the buildings, wire coverings, light covers and paint; brooms, mop handles, buckets, sponges, bottles of cleaning and disinfectant liquids; food trays, cutlery, plates and cups; and water containers, big and small.                  

Perhaps this way of cutting down on the use of plastic has not been considered by many. But it is a direct contribution if you consciously take steps to keep healthy and avoid the medical profession.

If at all possible, avoid more plastic by avoiding: dentists, optometrists, and clinic appointments, and in particular avoid having a medical emergency! Sláinte (good health to you)!

     
References

Applications of synthetic polymers in clinical medicine by M.F. Maitz, Biosurface and Biotriology, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405451815000434


Diapers Delivery Day, by Jennifer Wilson, Castle Health Care blog, http://castlehealthcare.blogspot.com/2013/07/diapers-delivery-day.html


Plastic Free July, Western Metropolitan Regional Council in Mossman Park, Western Australia, http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/contact.html

Plastics in Medicine, Precision Engineered Products, Connecticut Plastics, http://www.pepctplastics.com/resources/connecticut-plastics-learning-center/plastics-in-medicine/

The Convention on Biological Diversity, by Jennifer Wilson B’org Food Chain blog, https://borgfoodchain.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-convention-on-biological-diversity.html

The Many Uses of Plastic Materials in Medicine, http://www.craftechind.com/the-many-uses-of-plastic-materials-in-medicine/