Local Health Officials are asking the public to properly dispose of used Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in plastic-lined garbage containers to avoid an increase in the number of novel coronavirus cases, and to reduce litter.
More people have begun using latex gloves, face masks, and other forms of PPE to shield themselves from COVID-19. An increase in PPE usage has led residents to begin seeing used equipment appear as litter throughout neighborhoods. Aside from the environmental impacts of PPE litter, there is also a risk that anyone who comes in contact with used equipment has a heightened chance of contracting the virus. Health experts advise that the best way to dispose of used PPE is to place it in a plastic-lined garbage container.
From coverage by WMAR:
“They’re great for prevention of contact of infectious materials but they at one point can become contaminated or soiled,” said Shelly Choo, Chief Medical Officers for the Baltimore City Health Department. “Used PPE can become a method of exposing others of this infectious materials as well.”
The litter is also unfair to people who have to clean it up.
“If you are being a good samaritan,” said Choo, “Be sure to wear your own protective gear and do not touch your face. Wash your hands afterwards and if you’re using a tool to pick up litter be sure to sanitize it as well.”
More coverage from WTOP: Using personal protective equipment? Don’t just toss it out on the street