What we call Oasis is a trademarked name for wet floral foam. Designed in 1954 by a company called Smithers in Kent Ohio, United States. It soaks up water like a sponge and acts both as a support to hold the flowers in perfect place. You will find that most florists stock and use Oasis in everyday arrangements. Throughout my 20 years in the flower industry, all florists I have ever worked in, have used Oasis, and loads of it!
Which brings me to the recent frightening discovery about Oasis.
Taken straight from Smithers Material Safety Data Sheet, (which is easily accessed on line) I discovered the following statement.
"HAZARDS IDENTIFICATION EMERGENCY OVERVIEW Green fine-celled thermoset phenolic plastic foam. May be irritating to eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. May contain formaldehyde and/or carbon black. Prolonged exposure may cause cancer."
And, its non biodegradable.
So, what can we do? Ask your florist not to use it!!!!
BAN USE OF OASIS IN ALL FLORISTS!
Lilac and the Cat will always use eco-friendly products and sustainable use of flowers and materials.
Words by Janelouise
12th February 2015