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1.
Mar Pollut Bull ; 176: 113474, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757643

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented form of plastic pollution: personal protective equipment (PPE). Numerous studies have reported the occurrence of PPE in the marine environment. However, their degradation in the environment and consequences are poorly understood. Studies have reported that face masks, the most abundant type of PPE, are significant sources of microplastics due to their fibrous microstructure. The fibrous material (mostly consisting of polypropylene) exhibits physical changes in the environment, leading to its fracture and detachment of microfibers. Most studies have evaluated PPE degradation under controlled laboratory conditions. However, in situ degradation experiments, including the colonization of PPE, are largely lacking. Although ecotoxicological studies are largely lacking, the first attempts to understand the impact of MPs released from face masks showed various types of impacts, such as fertility and reproduction deficiencies in both aquatic and terrestrial organisms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Plastics , Humans , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Appl Environ Microbiol ; 88(7): e0233821, 2022 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741572

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is mainly transmitted via droplets and aerosols. To evaluate the role of transmission by fomites, SARS-CoV-2-specific data on transfer rates from surfaces to hands and from hands to face are lacking. Here, we generated quantitatively controlled transfer rates for SARS-CoV-2 from food items (lettuce, ham, and vegetarian meat alternative [VMA]) and packaging materials (cardboard and plastic) to gloves using a wet, dry, and frozen viral inoculum and from glove to glove using a wet viral inoculum. For biosafety reasons, the transfer from surfaces to hands and hands to face was simulated by using gloves. The cumulative transfer rate was calculated by using the data from the first transfer experiment, food or packaging material to glove, and combined with the transfer rate obtained from the second transfer experiment from glove to glove. The cumulative transfer rates from lettuce (4.7%) and ham (3.4%) were not significantly different (P > 0.05) but were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that from VMA ("wet" or "frozen"). The wet cumulative transfer rate from VMA (1.3%) was significantly higher than the cumulative transfer rate from frozen VMA (0.0011%). No transfer from plastic or cardboard was observed with a dry inoculum. The plastic packaging under wet conditions provided the highest cumulative transfer rate (3.0%), while the cumulative transfer from frozen cardboard was very small (0.035%). Overall, the transfer rates determined in this study suggest a minor role of foods or food packaging materials in infection transmission. IMPORTANCE The observation of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in swab samples from frozen fish packages in China, confirmed only once by cell culture, led to the hypothesis that food contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles could be the source of an outbreak. Epidemiological evidence for fomites as infection source is scarce, but it is important for the food industry to evaluate this infection path with quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA), using measured viral transfer rates from surfaces to hands and face. The present study provides transfer data for SARS-CoV-2 from various types of foods and packaging materials using quantitative methods that take uncertainties related to the virus recovery from the different surfaces into consideration. The transfer data from this model system provide important input parameters for QMRA models to assess the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from contaminated food items.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Fomites , Humans , Plastics , RNA, Viral
3.
Sci Total Environ ; 820: 153049, 2022 May 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730084

ABSTRACT

With the outbreak and widespread of the COVID-19 pandemic, large numbers of disposable face masks (DFMs) were abandoned in the environment. This study first investigated the sorption and desorption behaviors of four antibiotics (tetracycline (TC), ciprofloxacin (CIP), sulfamethoxazole (SMX), and triclosan (TCS)) on DFMs in the freshwater and seawater. It was found that the antibiotics in the freshwater exhibited relatively higher sorption and desorption capacities on the DFMs than those in the seawater. Here the antibiotics sorption processes were greatly related to their zwitterion species while the effect of salinity on the sorption processes was negligible. However, the desorption processes were jointly dominated by solution pH and salinity, with greater desorption capacities at lower pH values and salinity. Interestingly, we found that the distribution coefficient (Kd) of TCS (0.3947 L/g) and SMX (0.0399 L/g) on DFMs was higher than those on some microplastics in freshwater systems. The sorption affinity of the antibiotics onto the DFMs followed the order of TCS > SMX > CIP > TC, which was positively correlated with octanol-water partition coefficient (log Kow) of the antibiotics. Besides, the sorption processes of the antibiotics onto the DFMs were mainly predominated by film diffusion and partitioning mechanism. Overall, hydrophobic interaction regulated the antibiotics sorption processes. These findings would help to evaluate the environmental behavior of DFMs and to provide the analytical framework of their role in the transport of other pollutants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Water Pollutants, Chemical , Adsorption , Anti-Bacterial Agents/chemistry , Fresh Water/chemistry , Humans , Masks , Pandemics , Plastics/chemistry , Seawater/chemistry , Water Pollutants, Chemical/analysis
4.
Ecotoxicol Environ Saf ; 233: 113353, 2022 Mar 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719635

ABSTRACT

The deposition is an important process of microplastics transporting from atmosphere to water and soil. But the spatial and temporal distribution of microplastics in urban atmospheric deposition and its influencing factors are poorly understood. The current study investigated the possible sources, spatial and temporal distribution, and potential ecological risk of microplastics in deposition from the valley basin of Lanzhou city during the COVID-19 pandemic (from February to August, 2020). The deposition flux of microplastics was 353.83 n m-2 d-1. Most plastic samples were small sized (50~500 µm) and transparent. The dominant chemical composition and shapes were PET, fragments and fibers, respectively. A modified method was conducted to identify the sources of microplastics, and the local sources were suggested as the main possible sources. The distribution of microplastics investigated through the inverse distance weight interpolation showed spatial variation and temporal differentiation which was dominated by the human activity. The rainfall also affected the temporal distribution. The preliminary assessment indicated higher potential ecological risk of microplastics in deposition. This study suggested the dominant effect of human activity on the source and distribution of atmospheric microplastic deposition in city.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Water Pollutants, Chemical , China , Environmental Monitoring , Humans , Microplastics , Pandemics , Plastics , SARS-CoV-2 , Water Pollutants, Chemical/analysis
5.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 14(9): 11068-11077, 2022 Mar 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713108

ABSTRACT

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is evident that viral spread is mediated through several different transmission pathways. Reduction of these transmission pathways is urgently needed to control the spread of viruses between infected and susceptible individuals. Herein, we report the use of pathogen-repellent plastic wraps (RepelWrap) with engineered surface structures at multiple length scales (nanoscale to microscale) as a means of reducing the indirect contact transmission of viruses through fomites. To quantify viral repellency, we developed a touch-based viral quantification assay to mimic the interaction of a contaminated human touch with a surface through the modification of traditional viral quantification methods (viral plaque and TCID50 assays). These studies demonstrate that RepelWrap reduced contamination with an enveloped DNA virus as well as the human coronavirus 229E (HuCoV-229E) by more than 4 log 10 (>99.99%) compared to a standard commercially available polyethylene plastic wrap. In addition, RepelWrap maintained its repellent properties after repeated 300 touches and did not show an accumulation in viral titer after multiple contacts with contaminated surfaces, while increases were seen on other commonly used surfaces. These findings show the potential use of repellent surfaces in reducing viral contamination on surfaces, which could, in turn, reduce the surface-based spread and transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Coronavirus 229E, Human/growth & development , Equipment Contamination/prevention & control , Infection Control/instrumentation , Plastics/chemistry , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Infection Control/methods , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Surface Properties
6.
Environ Pollut ; 301: 119019, 2022 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1693485

ABSTRACT

A large amount of disposable plastic face masks (DPFs) is produced and used during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, which results in an inevitable consequence of the dramatic increase of DPFs waste. However, the impact of DPFs exposure to the environment on their toxicity is rarely considered. In this study, a range of 76-276 items/L microplastics (MPs) was detected in the DPFs leachates, and fibrous (> 80.3%) and polypropylene (PP, > 89.2%) MPs were dominant. Co, Cu, Ni, Sr, Ti and Zn, were commonly detected in all leachates of the tested DPFs. Organics, such as acetophenone, 2,4-Di-tert-butylphenol, benzothiazole, bisphenol-A and phthalide, were found in the DPFs leachate, which were including organic solvents and plasticizer. Besides, we first found an emerging environmental risk substance, namely environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs), was generated in the DPFs leachates. The characteristic g-factors of the EPFRs was in a range of 2.003-2.004, identified as mixture of carbon- and oxygen-centered radicals. By means of in vitro toxicity assay, the DPFs leachate were confirmed to cause cytotoxicity and oxidative stress. Significantly, it is found that the formed EPFRs could contribute more toxic effects. Furthermore, when compared to N95 respirators, the tested surgical masks tend to release more MPs, leach more metals and organics, and generate more EPFRs. Surgical masks were thus showed higher risk than N95 respirators after exposure to water. This work highlights the importance of understanding the chemical complexity and possible toxicity of DPFs for their risk assessment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Free Radicals , Humans , Pandemics , Plastics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Environ Manage ; 309: 114698, 2022 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1693286

ABSTRACT

A literature review was carried out to analyze the current status of microplastic research in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Specifically, this work focused on publications pertaining to (1) occurrence and distribution of microplastics in the environment, including water, sediments, and soil and (2) the environmental impact of MPs, particularly their presence and effects on aquatic and terrestrial organisms. The review included peer-reviewed articles from Scopus, Science Direct, Web of Science, Google Scholar and two iberoamerican open access databases (Redalyc and SciELO). It was found that LAC has only contributed to 5% of the global scientific output on microplastics, and overall the highest contributor within the region was Brazil (52%), followed by Chile (16%) and Mexico (13%). An additional section analyzing the barriers to conducting microplastic research in LAC and their exacerbation by the current COVID-19 pandemic was included to provide additional context behind the relatively low scientific production and improve recommendations encouraging research in this region.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Microplastics , Caribbean Region/epidemiology , Humans , Latin America/epidemiology , Pandemics , Plastics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Sci Total Environ ; 824: 153771, 2022 Jun 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692896

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a still ongoing international health and sanity crisis. In the current scenario, the actions taken by the national authorities and the public prioritized measures to control the transmission of the virus, such as social distancing, and face mask-wearing. Unfortunately, due to the debilitated waste management systems and incorrect disposal of single-use face masks and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE), the occurrence of these types of items has led to the exacerbation of marine plastic pollution. Although various studies have focused on surveying marine coasts for PPE pollution, studies on inland water are largely lacking. In order to fill this knowledge gap, the present study assessed PPE pollution in the Iranian coast of the Caspian Sea, the largest enclosed inland water body in the world by following standard monitoring procedures. The results concerning the density (1.02 × 10-4 PPE/m2) composition (face masks represented 95.3% of all PPE) of PPE are comparable to previous studies in marine waters. However, a notable decrease in the occurrence of PPE was observed, probably to behavioral and seasonality reasons. The possible consequences of PPE pollution were discussed, although much more research is needed regarding the ecotoxicological aspects of secondary PPE contaminants, such as microplastics and chemical additives. It is expected that face mask mandates will be eventually halted, and PPE will stop being emitted to the environment. However, based on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 scenario, several recommendations for coastal solid waste management are provided. These are proposed to serve during and after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Personal Protective Equipment , COVID-19/epidemiology , Caspian Sea , Humans , Iran , Pandemics , Plastics , SARS-CoV-2 , Water
9.
Environ Int ; 161: 107146, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1689284

ABSTRACT

Microplastics (MPs) have been considered as a new vector for the long-distance transport of pathogens in aquatic ecosystems. However, the composition of viral communities attached on MPs and their environmental risk are largely unknown. Here, we profiled the viral diversity and potential risk in five different MPs collected from the Beilun River based on metagenomic analysis. Nearly 2863 million raw reads were produced and assembled, and annotation resulted in the identification of 1719 different species of viruses in MPs. Viruses in polypropylene (PP) displayed the highest diversity, with about 250 specific viruses detected. Source tracking of viruses in MPs by the fast expectation-maximization microbial source tracking method (FEAST) demonstrated that viruses in upstream and downstream MPs are two major sources of viruses in estuary. Furthermore, the MP-type-dependent potential environmental risk of viruses was significant based on both antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and virulence factors (VFs) detected in viral metagenomes, and PP was confirmed with the highest potential environmental risk. This study reveals the high diversity and potential environmental risk of viruses in different MPs, and provides an important guidance for future environmental monitoring and understanding the potential risks associated with both viral transmission and MPs pollution.


Subject(s)
Microplastics , Water Pollutants, Chemical , Ecosystem , Environmental Monitoring , Metagenome , Plastics , Rivers , Water Pollutants, Chemical/analysis , Water Pollutants, Chemical/toxicity
10.
Waste Manag ; 142: 1-8, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671298

ABSTRACT

Single-use plastics (SUPs) represent one of the largest and rapidly growing segments of the plastics industry. The strategies to mitigate plastic hazards has become more difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic; SUPs have gained positive health-related attributes among consumers and remain the preferred packaging material. One of the most promising strategies to tackle the SUPs problem is a worldwide transition towards a circular economy (CE) for plastics. Here, we propose the reconceptualization of a CE for SUPs based on an analysis of the perceptions of stakeholders and the public from social, psychological, and communication-related perspectives. Our study utilized focus groups with primary and secondary stakeholders - differing in their power regarding SUP CE governance - and general consumers to identify their perceptions regarding challenges to and solutions for a CE for SUPs, thereby unveiling the potential for trustworthy knowledge co-creation. Our findings demonstrate that trustworthy knowledge-in-action is the primary driver for achieving sustainability transitions across stakeholders and suggest a significant discrepancy between young consumers and producers. Furthermore, we argue that exploring diversified approaches to knowledge co-creation necessitates various disciplinary entry points, ranging from different perspectives (challenges vs. solutions, individual vs. systemic levels, diversity in agenda-setting) to innovative attempts to understand knowledge production behaviour, especially for policymakers. Perceiving scientists as science communicators who can effectively inform involved stakeholders and general consumers and engage them in SUP crisis mitigation actions, the results of our study (jointly created manifest followed by a series of posters) are subject to further research and proposals for policy decisions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Plastics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Sci Total Environ ; 813: 151881, 2022 Mar 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671130

ABSTRACT

The vaccine innovation is a ubiquitous preventive measure to the transmission of highly infectious SARS-COV-2. The ongoing mass coronavirus vaccination programmes have inadvertently become the bulk producers of biomedical and plastic waste triggering severe impact on the environment. The sustainable management of bio hazardous vaccine waste in particular; syringes, needles, used/un-used vials and single-use plastic equipment is of utmost importance. This perspective presents a critical point of view in terms of the generated vaccine waste and the subsequent knock-on effect on all aspects of ecosystem. The discussion includes dire consequences due to the release of huge amount of plastic-based personal protective equipment into marine environment. The pivotal crisis of CO2 emission during the manufacture and storage of different vaccines has contributed to global warming. The unavoidable generation of microfibers upon incineration, autoclaving, pyrolysis and open dumping of vaccine waste has further jeopardized the environment. In this vein, exploration of biodegradable materials for vaccine inoculation and development of green technologies for sound waste management is suggested to mitigate the environment pollution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Waste Management , COVID-19 Vaccines , Ecosystem , Humans , Plastics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
12.
Stud Hist Philos Sci ; 92: 45-55, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665463

ABSTRACT

Twentieth-century medicine saw the remarkable rise of complex machines and infrastructures to process blood for medical purposes, such as transfusion, dialysis, and cardiac surgery. Instead of attributing these developments to technological ingenuity, this article argues for the primacy of material encounters as a promising focal point of medical historiography. In fact, blood's special properties consistently clashed with most materials used in medical practice, provoking a series of material exchanges. Drawing on a combination of epistemological and network approaches, three exemplary cases are presented to examine blood's encounters with plastics, plant and animal extracts: William M. Bayliss's (1860-1926) injections of dissolved gum acacia to expand diminished blood volume; Charles H. Best's (1899-1978) production of the anticoagulant heparin from animal organs; and the preservation of fragile blood cells by silicone coatings inside of John H. Gibbon Jr.'s (1903-1973) heart-lung machine. The case studies demonstrate how the complementarity of blood and these materials produced hybridizations between medicine and a range of industrial branches, from colonial forestry and meatpacking to commercial chemistry. In this light, the paper concludes by discussing the dependencies of today's healthcare environments on globally distributed, capitalistically appropriated resources in the face of crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Blood , Medicine , Plastics , Animals , Blood Chemical Analysis , Blood Physiological Phenomena , History, 20th Century , Humans , Plant Extracts , Plastics/chemistry
13.
Mar Pollut Bull ; 175: 113389, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665263

ABSTRACT

On 10 August 2021, a face mask (14 cm × 9 cm) was found in the feces of a juvenile green turtle, by-caught alive in a set net off the northeast coast of Japan. Although sea turtles have been monitored in this region over the last 15 years (n = 76), face masks had never been found before the Covid-19 pandemic and this is the first detection. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy identified the mask as polypropylene. Estrogenic active benzotriazole-type UV stabilizers such as UV329 were detected in commercially available polypropylene face masks. Exposure of marine organisms ingesting plastics to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and physical injury are of concern. This study indicates that changes in human life in the pandemic are beginning to affect marine life. Precautionary actions including establishment of appropriate waste management of personal protective equipment and use of safe additives are urgently needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Turtles , Animals , Ecosystem , Humans , Pandemics , Plastics , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Environ Pollut ; 300: 118967, 2022 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1664905

ABSTRACT

The accumulation of human-derived debris in the oceans is a global concern and a serious threat to marine wildlife. There is a volume of evidence that points to deleterious effects of marine debris (MD) on cetaceans in terms of both entanglement and ingestion. This review suggests that about 68% of cetacean species are affected by interacting with MD with an increase in the number of species reported to have interacted with it over the past decades. Despite the growing body of evidence, there is an ongoing debate on the actual effects of plastics on cetaceans and, in particular, with reference to the ingestion of microplastics and their potential toxicological and pathogenic effects. Current knowledge suggests that the observed differences in the rate and nature of interactions with plastics are the result of substantial differences in species-specific diving and feeding strategies. Existing projections on the production, use and disposal of plastics suggest a further increase of marine plastic pollution. In this context, the contribution of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to marine plastic pollution appears to be substantial, with potentially serious consequences for marine life including cetaceans. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to investigate the direct links between industry, human behaviours and the effects of MD on cetaceans. This could help inform management, prevention efforts, describe knowledge gaps and guide advancements in research efforts. This review highlights the lack of assessments of population-level effects related to MD and suggests that these could be rather immediate for small populations already under pressure from other anthropogenic activities. Finally, we suggest that MD is not only a pollution, economic and social issue, but also a welfare concern for the species and populations involved.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Plastics , Animals , Cetacea , Environmental Monitoring , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Waste Products/analysis
15.
Bioresour Technol ; 348: 126798, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1664684

ABSTRACT

In this work, the co-processing of waste surgical masks, waste motor oil, and biomass was investigated to reduce the environmental impacts of the increasing medical-derived plastic pollution as well as to elucidate its effect on the production of chemicals . The results showed high yields towards an oily product with an interesting hydrocarbon content in the diesel range. Furthermore, although the initial waste motor oil had a high sulfur content, the oily products showed a low sulfur content, that was logically distributed in the solid and gas phases. In addition, all oily products presented HHVs ​​higher than 44 MJ/Kg, with cetane indices, densities, and viscosities lower than those of petroleum-derived diesel. This work could impact on the management of waste surgical masks and the joint recovery of everyday waste towards high value-added products.


Subject(s)
Masks , Petroleum , Biomass , Oils , Plastics
16.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(16)2021 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662680

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Myocarditis is an inflammatory heart disease caused by viral infections that can lead to heart failure, and occurs more often in men than women. Since animal studies have shown that myocarditis is influenced by sex hormones, we hypothesized that endocrine disruptors, which interfere with natural hormones, may play a role in the progression of the disease. The human population is exposed to the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) from plastics, such as water bottles and plastic food containers. METHODS: Male and female adult BALB/c mice were housed in plastic versus glass caging, or exposed to BPA in drinking water versus control water. Myocarditis was induced with coxsackievirus B3 on day 0, and the endpoints were assessed on day 10 post infection. RESULTS: We found that male BALB/c mice that were exposed to plastic caging had increased myocarditis due to complement activation and elevated numbers of macrophages and neutrophils, whereas females had elevated mast cell activation and fibrosis. CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that housing mice in traditional plastic caging increases viral myocarditis in males and females, but using sex-specific immune mechanisms.


Subject(s)
Coxsackievirus Infections/complications , Enterovirus B, Human/pathogenicity , Housing, Animal/statistics & numerical data , Myocarditis/pathology , Plastics/adverse effects , Animals , Coxsackievirus Infections/virology , Female , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Myocarditis/etiology , Myocarditis/virology , Sex Factors
17.
Sci Total Environ ; 821: 153424, 2022 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648499

ABSTRACT

Pollution from personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly face masks, has surfaced in the marine and terrestrial environments globally since the COVID-19 outbreak due to improper disposal practices and inadequate waste management, raising widespread alarm and attention. Our understanding of the prevalence and distribution of PPE in highly populated metropolitan areas is still emerging, and studies focusing specifically on developing countries in Latin America remain sparse. This study attempted to "kill two birds with one stone" by (1) addressing this knowledge gap by analyzing the degree of improper dispensing of PPE in Mexico City (Mexico) and (2) investigating the impact of massive public congregations on PPE contamination during the yearly pilgrimage to the Villa de Guadalupe on December 12th. Our survey findings revealed 731 PPE items within a 6-kilometer radius between December 5 and December 12, 2021, with daily densities ranging from 4.1 × 10-3-13.9 × 10-3 PPE items m-2. Face masks were the most disposed type of PPE (94%), with gloves and face shields accounting for just 6% of the total. The PPE disposal more than doubled as the pilgrim day approached, with an estimated disposal rate ranging from 151.52 to 506.06 items day-1, substantiating the surge in the disposal of used PPE to large public congregations that filled the surroundings during the pilgrimage. The observed average PPE density of 7.8 × 10-3 items m-2 was higher than in the metropolitan environments of Canada, Ghana, and Turkey. To our knowledge, this first study describes information showing the need to pay attention to the major impact of public events and mobility on COVID-19 PPE pollution, as well as emphasizes the necessity for adequate management facilities in improving PPE disposal.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Personal Protective Equipment , COVID-19/epidemiology , Catholicism , Humans , Mexico/epidemiology , Plastics , SARS-CoV-2
18.
J Dent ; 118: 103948, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1620801

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To quantify (by number and mass) single use plastic waste generated from the provision of oral healthcare in primary and secondary care clinical dental settings in the UK. METHODS: An observational study of four dental practices and the clinics of a UK undergraduate dental teaching hospital was conducted. A range of routine common procedures were observed by trained and calibrated observers; these were: Examinations, endodontics, periodontics, direct placement restorations, fixed and removable prosthodontics and oral surgery. The PPE items used before and during the COVID-19 pandemic were also included. RESULTS: Routine 'surgery set up' generic items present a significant proportion of SUP plastic waste as these are used in every instance of patient treatment. An average of twenty-one (n = 21) SUP plastic waste items are used for every procedure with a mean mass of 354 g per procedure (including set up and clean up). The use of PPE increased from 14 items (pre-COVID -19) to 19 items during the pandemic. SUP items are constructed from a single plastic or from multiple plastics forming compound structures (heteropolymers); with an approximate 50:50 distribution. CONCLUSIONS: The dental profession, at the point of care, uses a high volume of single use plastic that becomes clinical waste. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) significantly increased during the COVID 19 pandemic and this accounts for the single greatest contribution of single use plastic, as this is used for every clinical procedure. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Manufacturers, distributors and oral healthcare providers have an opportunity to consider and implement approaches that include effective waste management with reduction, recovery and recycling at its core, towards transforming oral healthcare to a circular plastics economy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Hospitals , Humans , Plastics , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int ; 29(8): 11039-11053, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1620320

ABSTRACT

Plastic pollution has become a serious transboundary challenge to nature and human health, with estimation of reports published - predicting a twofold increase in plastic waste by 2030. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the excessive use of single-use plastics (including face masks, gloves and personal protective equipment) would possibly exacerbate such forecasts. The transition towards eco-friendly alternatives like bio-based plastics and new emerging sustainable technologies would be vital to deal with future pandemics, even though the use or consumption of plastics has greatly enhanced our quality of life; it is however critical to move towards bioplastics. We cannot deny the fact that bioplastics have some challenges and shortcomings, but still, it is an ideal option for opt. The circular economy is the need of the hour for waste management. Along with all these practices, individual accountability, corporate intervention and government policy are also needed to prevent us from moving from one crisis to the next. Only through cumulative efforts, we will be able to cope up with this problem. This article collected scattered information and data about accumulation of plastic during COVID-19 worldwide. Additionally, this paper illustrates the substitution of petroleum-based plastics with bio-based plastics. Different aspects are discussed, ranging from advantages to challenges in the way of bioplastics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Plastics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Sci Total Environ ; 815: 152980, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612005

ABSTRACT

The indispensable role of plastic products in our daily life is highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic again. Disposable face masks, made of polymer materials, as effective and cheap personal protective equipment (PPE), have been extensively used by the public to slow down the viral transmission. The repercussions of this have generated million tons of plastic waste being littered into the environment because of the improper disposal and mismanagement amid. And plastic waste can release microplastics (MPs) with the help of physical, chemical and biological processes, which is placing a huge MPs contamination burden on the ecosystem. In this work, the knowledge regarding to the combined effects of MPs and pollutants from the release of face masks and the impacts of wasted face masks and MPs on the environment (terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem) was systematically discussed. In view of these, some green technologies were put forward to reduce the amounts of discarded face masks in the environment, therefore minimizing MPs pollution at its source. Moreover, some recommendations for future research directions were proposed based on the remaining knowledge gaps. In a word, MPs pollution linked to face masks should be a focus worldwide.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Plastics , Ecosystem , Humans , Masks , Pandemics , Polymers , SARS-CoV-2
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