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PLoS One ; 17(1): e0259207, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648363


COVID-19 greatly challenges the human health sector, and has resulted in a large amount of medical waste that poses various potential threats to the environment. In this study, we compiled relevant data released by official agencies and the media, and conducted data supplementation based on earlier studies to calculate the net value of medical waste produced in the Hubei Province due to COVID-19 with the help of a neural network model. Next, we reviewed the data related to the environmental impact of medical waste per unit and designed four scenarios to estimate the environmental impact of new medical waste generated during the pandemic. The results showed that a medical waste generation rate of 0.5 kg/bed/day due to COVID-19 resulted in a net increase of medical waste volume by about 3366.99 tons in the Hubei Province. In the four scenario assumptions, i.e., if the medical waste resulting from COVID-19 is completely incinerated, it will have a large impact on the air quality. If it is disposed by distillation sterilization, it will produce a large amount of wastewater and waste residue. Based on the results of the study, we propose three policy recommendations: strict control of medical wastewater discharge, reduction and transformation of the emitted acidic gases, and attention to the emission of metallic nickel in exhaust gas and chloride in soil. These policy recommendations provide a scientific basis for controlling medical waste pollution.

Air Pollution/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Environmental Pollution/prevention & control , Medical Waste/analysis , Neural Networks, Computer , Waste Management/methods , Wastewater/analysis , Air Pollution/analysis , COVID-19/economics , China/epidemiology , Chlorides/analysis , Environment , Environmental Pollution/analysis , Gases/analysis , Humans , Incineration/methods , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Waste Management/statistics & numerical data
Ecotoxicol Environ Saf ; 208: 111438, 2021 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1049770


Roles of environmental factors in transmission of COVID-19 have been highlighted. In this study, we sampled the high-touch environmental surfaces in the quarantine room, aiming to detect the distribution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on the environmental surfaces during the incubation period of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Fifteen sites were sampled from the quarantine room, distributing in the functional areas such as bedroom, bathroom and living room. All environmental surface samples were collected with sterile polyester-tipped applicator pre-moistened in viral transport medium and tested for SARS-CoV-2. Overall, 34.1% of samples were detected positively for SARS-CoV-2. The positive rates of Patient A, B and C, were 46.2%, 0% and 61.5%, respectively. SARS-CoV-2 was detected positively in bedroom and bathroom, with the positive rate of 50.0% and 46.7%, respectively. In contrast, living room had no positive sample detected. Environmental contamination of SARS-CoV-2 distributes widely during the incubation period of COVID-19, and the positive rates of SARS-CoV-2 on environmental surfaces are relatively high in bathroom and bedroom.

Bathroom Equipment/virology , COVID-19/transmission , Environmental Microbiology , Environmental Pollution , Infectious Disease Incubation Period , Latent Infection/transmission , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disinfection , Environmental Pollution/analysis , Environmental Pollution/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Latent Infection/epidemiology , Latent Infection/prevention & control , Male , Quarantine/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Surface Properties , Toilet Facilities/standards
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 22112, 2020 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1038222


In January 2020, anthropogenic emissions in Northeast Asia reduced due to the COVID-19 outbreak. When outdoor activities of the public were limited, PM2.5 concentrations in China and South Korea between February and March 2020 reduced by - 16.8 µg/m3 and - 9.9 µg/m3 respectively, compared with the average over the previous three years. This study uses air quality modeling and observations over the past four years to separate the influence of reductions in anthropogenic emissions from meteorological changes and emission control policies on this PM2.5 concentration change. Here, we show that the impacts of anthropogenic pollution reduction on PM2.5 were found to be approximately - 16% in China and - 21% in South Korea, while those of meteorology and emission policies were - 7% and - 8% in China, and - 5% and - 4% in South Korea, respectively. These results show that the influence on PM2.5 concentration differs across time and region and according to meteorological conditions and emission control policies. Finally, the influence of reductions in anthropogenic emissions was greater than that of meteorological conditions and emission policies during COVID-19 period.

Air Pollution/legislation & jurisprudence , COVID-19/prevention & control , Environmental Monitoring/legislation & jurisprudence , Meteorology/legislation & jurisprudence , Particulate Matter/analysis , Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/analysis , China , Environmental Pollution/prevention & control , Humans , Republic of Korea , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vehicle Emissions/analysis