EFFECT OF PREVENTIVE MEASURES AGAINST COVID-19 ON THE ENVIRONMENT

  • Temitope Monsurat Osobamiro Department of Chemical Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University
  • Oluwafemi Awolesi Department of Chemistry, Mississippi State University
  • Ogundaini Rotimi Sina Department of Chemistry, Federal College of Education
Keywords: Precautionary measures, Waste disposal, Hand sanitizer, Facemask

Abstract

As COVID-19 becomes fast spread, safe disposal of infectious and hazardous COVID-19 waste that has mixed with municipal waste is now becoming a major environmental challenge. In many cities in Nigeria, such wastes are often disposed of in landfills or incinerated openly. Though, significant attention has been paid to policy and management of COVID-19 in the health sector, little has been done in managing COVID-19 waste. Effective handling and disposal techniques of these wastes must be harnessed in sustaining the environment and curbing the spread of this disease. This paper is aimed at evaluating the two major precautionary measures taken against the spread of COVID-19; face covering and hand sanitizer, their chemical composition, use, disposal and impacts of their improper disposal on the environment. Common medical and disposable face masks are made of non-biodegradable plastic materials containing toxic additives that are carcinogenic, mutagenic and contribute significantly to climate change. Prolong or misuse of commonly used hand sanitizers can cause oral and dermal toxicity especially in children. Safer, economical and reusable materials to replace hitherto toxic materials used in curbing the spread COVID-19 should be made available. Aside from frequent washing of hands with soap and water, this paper recommends that attention should also be focused on public awareness on proper handling and disposal of all waste. Hospitals and municipal waste management should adopt the art of autoclaving before incineration of waste.

Author Biographies

Temitope Monsurat Osobamiro, Department of Chemical Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University

Temitope Monsurat Osobamiro is an analytical/environmental chemist and a senior lecturer at Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria. She is a product of the University of Ibadan where she obtained her M.Sc and Ph.D in Analytical/Environmental Chemistry. Main research fields are Soil Chemistry, Speciation and Bioavailability of heavy metals, transfer mechanism of heavy metals in soil-plant system, analysis and remediation of contaminants in the environment. Current research interests include; analysis and removal of emerging contaminants (Pharmaceuticals) in the environment using agricultural waste (activated carbon and graphenes). Dr Osobamiro is a very amiable God-fearing young and aspiring researcher with great zeal for excellence. She has made her research findings public by publishing in both local and international journals of repute.

Oluwafemi Awolesi , Department of Chemistry, Mississippi State University

Oluwafemi Awolesi graduated Summa cum Laude with his B.Sc in Industrial Chemistry from Olabisi Onabanjo University in Nigeria. Currently, he is a PhD Student at Mississippi State University, where he explores the use of Sustainable Bioproducts such as Biochar and Graphene for the enhancement of blue-and-green infrastructure. He also serves an environmental consultant at Ecoxygiene Services Limited, located in Lagos, Nigeria where he assists business and public sector customers in resolving environmental challenges and mitigating environmental effect in areas such as water pollution, waste management, air quality, and soil contamination.

Areas of Specialization: Environmental Biotechnology; Sustainability; Environmental Chemistry.

Ogundaini Rotimi Sina, Department of Chemistry, Federal College of Education

Ogundaini Rotimi Sina graduated Cum lande with his  B.Sc in Chemistry from University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. He is currently a Ph.D student  at Olabisi Onabanjo University where he is investigating the pyrolytic conversion and Chacterization of Municipal Solid Waste into Liquid Petrochemicals for the enhancement of petroleum products. He is a member of Ojota Community Environmental Committee, which is tasked with resolving environmental issues. Area of Specialization: Environmental/Analytical Chemistry

Published
2022-05-20

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eISSN: 0855-0395