Although the new coronavirus currently infects human beings, the garbage generated by the epidemic is seriously harming the life safety of wild animals.
According to foreign media reports, a new study points out that,Because of the large amount of PPE (personal protective equipment) rubbish produced by COVID-19, it is causing devastating damage to animal species, and this effect will last for decades.
PPE waste, also known as NCV waste, consists mainly of disposable gloves and masks, which are usually made of rubber ropes and polypropylene fabrics, the researchers said.During COVID-19, the number of respirators used every minute in the world is up to 3 million, and most of them are disposable.
In recent months, scientists have also been warning about the serious impact of the waste on wildlife and the environment, and that the impact could affect generations.
Once the wild animals are entangled or eaten by the garbage, it will cause immeasurable harm. Because of the chemical resistance, heat resistance, high strength and mechanical properties of polypropylene, it is harmful to the environment.
These hazards exist not only on land, but also in the sea.Because scientists estimate that more than 1.5 billion masks were washed into the ocean last year alone.
In the study, scientists collected a large number of cases of PPE waste affecting wildlife.For example, fish trapped in rubber gloves; birds using masks to build nests, but their mouths are covered by masks, and their legs are really wrapped up by masks; and all kinds of animals, such as bats, hedgehogs, puffers, crabs and so on, are trapped by PPE garbage.
In addition, there are many animals will inadvertently eat PPE waste. A mask was found in the belly of a dead Magellan penguin on a Brazilian beach. Even domestic animals like dogs and cats have similar experiences.
Researchers pointed out that COVID-19 has not yet ended, and the use of PPE has not decreased, and may even become a norm. Even if these wastes are degraded in the field, they will still exist in the environment for hundreds of years.
Therefore, the use of disposable PPE should be avoided on the premise of safety. Of course, the more important thing is that people need to be more conscious, not blindly litter, should establish a more perfect treatment mechanism.
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