The year 2020 has seen the use of Personal Protective Equipment or PPE gear like never before. According to a WHO report 2020, over 53.7 million individuals have been infected with COVID-19 and 1.3 million people have unfortunately lost their lives in more than 217 nations worldwide. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of COVID-19 PPE gear and other essential items have become crucial to control the spread of the virus. A PPE kit includes various items such as face masks, face shields, gloves, and respirators of N95 or FFP2 standard or equivalent.
As the infection of SARS-CoV-2 spread like fire across the globe, the demand for PPE has reached unprecedented levels as all hospitals and medical health centers around the world required continuous and bulk PPE supplies. Many hospitals have partnered with bulk PPE suppliers in the USA for sourcing PPE at an affordable price.
Challenges with the Usage of COVID-19 PPE
With the excessive usage of COVID-19 PPE, there come three major challenges in terms of affordability, accessibility, or disposal of the used PPE.
- COVID-19 PPE Affordability & Accessibility
Whether it infected or healthy people, all need to put on some forms of PPE such as face masks, gloves, etc. to protect themselves from coronavirus. Therefore, it is essential that healthcare workers and the general public should have easy access to affordable PPE gear.
However, the huge gaps in demand-supply of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to exceedingly higher prices which is a big threat to minorities, lower to middle-income groups and countries, the poor, and the highly COVID-19-affected countries. Some personal protective equipment companies are selling PPE at affordable rates, however, they are compromising on the quality. Therefore, it is always advised that people should always consider checking the quality of the PPE even if they are buying a costly one.
Additionally, the improper handling and disposal of the used PPE that is meant for only one-time use are also leading to the increased demand for PPE, which is again affecting the affordability. Although many personal protective equipment companies have scaled up their PPE production to meet the huge demand for PPE, the proper disposal and management of PPE can mitigate the risk of a shortage of PPE supplies, especially in the hard-hit countries like the USA.
- COVID-19 PPE Disposal
Another major concern is the proper COVID-19 PPE disposal by incineration. It’s because incineration releases the stored carbon in plastic materials along with toxic air pollutants including mercury, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, etc. into the air. Other than that, the waste management system has a very limited capacity that was crafted based on pre-COVID patterns of biomedical waste generation.
In addition to this, many hospitals are incapable of handling bulk patients at a time because of the lack of equipment and facilities. Due to this, for many COVID-19 patients, the care and treatment are provided at home or quarantine centers that are not equipped with biosafety compliant waste collection and management systems. With the rapidly changing situation, all the civic and public health authorities are following the lockdown measures which might affect the PPE supply chains.
Lastly, but most importantly, the usage of single-use PPE and its improper disposal also increases the risk of the spread of the infection. Healthcare systems should devise some protocols for the proper use of disposal of PPE to lower its demand spikes and the community spread. This will also ensure reduced pressure on personal protective equipment companies to produce PPE on a large-scale.
How to Dispose the Used COVID-19 PPE Properly?
Well, the answer to this question is quite simple. You can start by separating your waste products, especially the used COVID-19 PPE. When you’re disposing the used PPE, make sure it is completely wrapped in a garbage bag and given to the local municipalities for the appropriate treatment.
You can even stick a label on your PPE waste for extra precaution. Although the material used to make PPE maybe plastic or rubber, you must remember that it is non-recyclable once it is contaminated. Therefore, it should not be thrown into the recycle bin.
To solve this problem, the local authorities could set up trash cans exclusively for PPE disposal. There should be more signage and posters in public settings along with impactful TV advertisements to spread awareness about the correct usage and disposal of personal protective equipment.
Even personal protective equipment companies can print clear instructions on the usage and disposal of PPE on its packages to help people easily handle the critical PPE gear during the pandemic.
How to Reduce COVID-19 PPE Disposal?
One of the best ways to reduce excessive PPE disposal is to try NOT TO USE non-reusable PPE. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s an increased demand for face masks. People could buy reusable face masks made of cloth as they can be washed easily and used again. If you want to use homemade face masks, you may learn how to make homemade masks from various face-mask sewing online tutorials.
While PPE protects us from the deadly coronavirus, it also risks our health and environment. You must always keep in mind that PPE is intended to help fight against the global health challenge and not to contribute to the plastic pollution problem.
Hopefully, the next time when you’ll use or dispose any type of PPE, be it face masks, gloves, or face shields, you will remember this statement!
As one of the leading bulk PPE suppliers in the USA, Co-Defend offers a wide range of PPE gear that is durable, FDA-approved, and affordable. If you’re looking to source bulk supplies of PPE, you may place the bulk PPE order with us.
Q.1. What types of PPE do you supply?
Ans. We offer a wide range of selected PPE apparel including face masks, surgical masks, gloves, N95 respirators, medical protective clothing, and other medical devices.
Q.2. Who should use PPE?
Ans. In the current situation, the use of various forms of PPE such as face masks, gloves, face shields, medical protective clothing, etc. is mandatory for the general public, especially children and elder people.
Healthcare professionals who are treating infected patients must also wear PPE gear. Other than that, essential frontline workers who clean public places also must wear PPE. During a pandemic situation, it is always good to wear any form of PPE whenever you’re in public places. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Q3. Where can I buy the best PPE kit?
Ans. If you’re looking to buy PPE online, you should consider sourcing it from the USA. Co-Defend is one of the most trusted bulk PPE suppliers in the USA offering a wide selection of PPE gear to help people fight against COVID-19.
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