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Covid-19: incorrect disposal of protective equipment harms the environment

Posted in: 2021/06/28

Lately we have talked a lot about the social impact of Covid-19 in the world. But the pandemic has not only affected the health, economy, and lives of thousands of people. The impact on nature has also been great.

The pollution generated by the disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE), especially that which is done in an irregular manner, has worried scientists and environmentalists.

Disposable masks and gloves are being essential in individual protection against the virus and in medical care to save lives. But they can become villains to the planet if the disposal is not done correctly, polluting soils and oceans, causing the death of animals and damage to the environment.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) recently published a study on the increase in pollution from masks, gloves, and other disposable plastics that may be responsible for greenhouse gases and other emissions. Although the report is focused on Europe, it is not difficult to think about the increase also for Latin American countries and other parts of the world.

In Brazil there is still lack of research to predict or verify the increase of pollution due to the materials used in the Covid-19 prevention. But surface damage is already seen in several parts of the country, especially in coastal areas that have made news recently for the arrival of large amounts of hospital waste.

We highlight some current news about the impact of the pandemic on the environment.

Fish caught in disposable glove is a warning about the risks of pandemic-generated waste

Covid: Protective equipment increased emissions and harmed the environment

How the disposable mask can impact the environment

Improper disposal of PPE worries environmental advocates

How to prevent discarded masks from polluting the planet

Also check this out:

Learn how to dispose of masks and gloves properly

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