Monday, April 13, 2009

Polystrene containers & cups

Dear all,

It's quite sad when i still see my colleagues and friends getting their coffee fix in the morning with polystrene cups because they had to rush to a 9Am meeting and missed making their coffee at home & packing lunch food with polystrene containers because they are always given yesterday deadlines and rushing work out.

It's sad because i care for you. Haven't you read that hot food promotes a migration of styrene from the polystrene container/cup into your food/coffee. The consumed styrene can lead to thyroid problems, menstrual irregularities, and other hormone-related problems, as well as breast cancer and prostate cancer.

To be honest, i was informed through an uncle of mine who's wife has recently given birth to 2 very adorable babies - long anticipated babies from the family as he's the youngest & took the longest time to get married, relatively. He claimed to have done alot of research on food & food containers to ensure he provides the best for his family, especially the 2 babies. One of his findings include the health hazards of soaking baby milk (plastic) bottles in hot water. Anyway, ill stick to polystrene.

When i was told, although im not a coffee drinker, ive ocasionally used polystrene cups to contain teh-tarik in business meetings. And ocassionally packed food when i need to eat and drive at the same time to meetings. So it really hit me.

One night, i just sat down and read about polystrene. Read researches done by local & foreign universities, government organizations & NGOs. In summary, most of the researches were inconclusive. Here are some statements i pulled out.

"Although there is evidence that styrene causes cancer in animals, it has not yet been proven to cause cancer in humans"

"If you drink beverages from polystyrene cups four times a day for three years, you may have consumed about one foam cup's worth of styrene along with your beverages"

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), styrene was reported as “possible carcinogenic effect to human”

"Factory workers who work with styrene have been documented to have suffered from a variety of neurological and hematological disorders"

"The accumulation of these highly lipid-soluble (fat-soluble) materials in the lipid-rich tissues of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves is correlated with acute or chronic functional impairment of the nervous system"

"As monomer polymerises, its very hard for a single monomer to detach from the polymer. Even if this is possible, the product will crack the very moment when a monomer is released"

There were also long debates about whether a monomer (styrene) can be realease from the polystrene. But the summary is -

There are no doubts about the hazards of consuming styrene but there are doubts about whether the polystrene container is capable of releasing a monomer (styrene) into the food. So best we refer to our own health ministry.

DR ABD RAHIM MOHAMAD, a representative of the ministry quoted from "The Harvard Center for Risk Assessment", "The American Conference of Government Hygienists", 'International Agency for Research on Cancer" .. etc etc about the safe use of polystrene containers... BUT later put a disclaimer to his statement which goes -

"However, consumers should avoid using polystyrene containers for hot and oily food because it will promote the migration of styrene"

1. Since when did we look to the west so much?

2. If you claim that hot and oily food can cause the migration, why are you still quoting so much of the west to prove that its safe to use? Just fuckin discourage the use of it. Arent most of the food we pack from the food stalls hot and oily? Dont we always pour hot coffee into those cups?

Guys, i know this shouldn't be coming from me - i fucking smoke everyday and that's a proven cancer agent. But hey, we have more than just 1 bad habit - some of us drink, some dont exercise, some eat excessively, some dont sleeep - so if we can cut down on one of em, it will make a difference.

I seldom post a picture of myself so here goes to show that im sincere and really care.

This is in Nuffnang's office - their meeting room. Which is in a pretty odd position i must say lol. It's right smack in the middle of the office. So the nuffies cant think about sneaking a shag in the meeting room, or falling asleep in it lol

Anyway, the post below is part of a Chipster campaign that rides on a video-image synching technology. Vendors like Jib Jab has came up with these stuff before but this is the first, i believe, which incorporates text into speech bubbles as well.

This is also a part of a bigger campaign, which consists of a hunt for the Chipster superstar. Winners take home macbooks & ipods and get a chance to be featured on national TV - prime time.

Alot of time has gone into the planning of this campaign and im very proud to be a big part of the team. So guys, pls take some time and check it out. Be sure to buy a pack and submit it for the contest.

See below, a video featuring tim, audrey & huai bin.


Boss Stewie said...

desmondkiu so entau!

Vanessa Granville, representing the Styrene Information and Research Center said...

Both foam and solid polystyrene foodservice products have been tested extensively and deemed safe for consumer use by reputable government agencies. Since the 1990s, the polystyrene industry has conducted tests to measure the migration of styrene from food-contact styrenic plastics; the results have shown that these very low styrene levels pose no health concern. Specifically, the tests showed that the estimated daily exposure to styrene from polystyrene food-contact articles was 10,000 times safer than it needed to be.

For more than 20 years, the Styrene Information and Research Center (SIRC) has sponsored a comprehensive research program to better understand the potential, if any, for styrene to affect human health. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that styrene can lead to thyroid problems, menstrual irregularities, or other hormone-related problems.

To date, no regulatory agency has stated that styrene causes cancer in people either. The results of extensive studies of workers in styrene-related industries collectively show that exposure to styrene does not increase the risk of human breast cancer or any other form of human cancer.

For more information regarding the safety of styrene products, please refer to the Styrene Information and Research Center Website at