COVID biomedical waste poses environmental problem


Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 13 

Already preventing air pollution created by single-use plastics and different non-biodegradable materials, the world is dealing with a brand new problem in disposing masks, gloves and private protecting tools amid the COVID-19 disaster.

Environmentalists say PPEs, masks and gloves are primarily fabricated from plastic and are neither biodegradable nor recyclable. Amid the continuing well being crises, they’re creating an surprising impression on the setting leading to “a silent, invisible health hazard for a large number of people”

“The government needs to act now to ensure a green recovery that incentivises sustainability.  Our health care governance and industry must also quickly respond, install toxic gas absorbing filters and take all necessary steps for safe disposal of the huge amounts of biomedical waste being generated,” says Soumya Dutta, an environmental professional.

Dutta says whereas well being staff and frontline staff have to be protected, in lots of locations these are brazenly disposed of, threatening the unfold of illnesses to bigger populations. Even within the case of “systematic disposal” most of those are being burned in incinerators, resulting in the creation of two very poisonous carcinogenic gases—Dioxin and Furan.

“Most of our hospital Incinerators do not lave specialised filters to eliminate them. This is creating a silent, invisible health hazard for a large number of people living around these incinerators and might end up having cancer and other diseases in the years to come,” provides Dutta.

Meanwhile, in line with Ramnath Vaidyanathan, General Manager (Sustainability) at Godrej Industries Limited, carelessly discarded PPEs can find yourself polluting land, rivers and oceans, including to the glut of plastic waste already threatening the ecosystem. “It is imperative for the country to step up efforts to sensitise regarding proper handling of biomedical waste to protect the environment and reduce the threat of Covid-19,” he says.



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