PSA: Please Stop Turning COVID-19 Self-Testing Kits Into Art, Warns Scientist

Photo 233377227 © Sandi Rutar |


You could upcycle old plastic bottles and cardboard, that’s fine and all, but the line seems to be drawn at COVID-19 home testing kits. Once they’re used, they should never be seen again—not on your desk, and certainly not framed up on your wall.

This warning was made clear after a photo of an artwork containing the forbidden muse went—for the lack of a better word—viral on Thai social media. The image shows 39 used rapid antigen tests neatly packed into a picture frame.

According to national news outlet The Thaiger, the creator wanted to showcase the scope of their immunity by chronicling how long they’d survive with a negative COVID-19 test result.


ตอนนี้หลายคนเริ่มเอา ATK ไปใส่กรอบโชว์  ประมาณว่าชั้นรอดทุกซีซั่นจ้าาา 5555 อย่าทำตามนะครับ…

Posted by หมอแล็บแพนด้า on Thursday, April 21, 2022


The photo was reposted by Thai medical laboratory scientist Parkpoom Dethhussadin, who warned others about reusing these test kits as art, regardless of the results. “Do not keep your [home test] collection just to prove that you survived,” the scientist urged.

He added that used tests are deemed medical waste and should be promptly disposed of, and asserted that a negative test result could still mean a minimal viral load exists in the body. Locals should disinfect their devices with alcohol or detergent before getting rid of them, the scientist said.

COVID-19 home testing kits might be essential in these volatile times, but they’re also contributing to the global plastic problem. Until we find a solution, though, there’s relief in knowing that the devices only make up 0.3% of plastic waste, as estimated by a study published in the PNAS journal in November 2021.




[via Must Share News, The Thaiger, The Conversation, images via various sources]

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