Impact of medical-grade gloves on the environment.
Plastic is in the water, it's in every ocean, it's in the ice, it's in the rain, it's been found in our food. If we don't heed the warnings, we can expect a lot more pollution in our environment.
Before covid-19 hit the world was waking up to the harm of plastics. People were saying no to plastic, water bottles, and straws. Across the US, many groundbreaking pieces of legislation, banning all kinds of single-use plastics were about to pass. But then coronavirus hit and everything took a sudden turn. Now as the world tries to protect itself from this deadly virus, conservationists are worried about the impact of coveted waste on the world's oceans.
The personal protective equipment used to fight the covid-19 pandemic could prove to be disastrous for the environment. Disposable masks and medical-grade gloves are only adding to plastic pollution woes, threatening oceans and marine life. These items may contain non-biodegradable items like polypropylene and may also enhance the risk of catching covid-19 for the people cleaning up the litter. Bright-colored gloves may be mistaken for food by seabirds and turtles.
A professor from Louisiana state university has initiated a survey to study the extent of the waste problem. Preliminary data from the survey showed that in the United States medical-grade gloves were the most commonly littered PPE.
It is a new type of pollution. There are two reasons for us seeing these masks and gloves in the sea. It’s of course the usage and then there’s the incivility. If the people weren't throwing the masks onto the street, we wouldn't find them in the sea. As 80% of the trash that we see in the sea comes from the land. When it rains the trash is taken away by rainwaters and it ended up in the sea through rivers and valleys.
Why it is important to dispose of medical-grade gloves and masks?
Start the holistic approach to wellness. Disposal of face masks and gloves is our responsibility. Face masks and gloves are extremely essential to prevent the spread of covert 19. Everyone stresses the importance of wearing these correctly to prevent the infection, but disposing of these is as important or even more important to block the risk of the infection spreading.
But are we disposing of the face masks and medical-grade gloves properly? No!. News across the world says different stories. Gloves and used masks are being disposed of wherever possible as people are not aware of the risks they can carry.
What are the risks, challenges, and solutions to the disposal of this medical waste?
- This virus of covid-19 has enough strength that it could survive on such medical waste including masks, gloves, tissues, etc. Hence this medical waste can cause a potential health hazard to the people who come in contact with it.
- If not properly disposed of, these can become a potential source for the spread of covid-19
- Some people are picking up the used masks and reusing them, putting their lives in danger.
- The disposal of masks, gloves, tissues, etc. Should be treated as medical waste. Unfortunately, there is no authentic and easy-to-follow mechanism for the disposal.
- Ignorant behavior of several people about the re-usage of already used masks and gloves.
- The usage of cloth masks should be encouraged because they are washable and reusable.
- Proper guidelines from the medical fraternity and reiterated by the government in proper disposal of used face masks, medical-grade gloves, and tissues.
- People to be more responsible and ensure that they do not cause the virus to spread.
- Each person should have their masks and not share them among family members.
- Decontaminate the used masks, gloves, etc. With sanitizer. Cut them, dispose of them in separate bags, and not mix them with household stuff.
Ready to minimize the environmental impact of covid-19. Learn How to Self-Donmedical-surgical gloves?
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