The world is reeling under massive problems – COVID and pollution. The latter is primarily driven because of the staggering use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits and N95 masks, amid the COVID pandemic.
On one hand, we have to fight CoVID and the best defense in our hands is the use of PPE kits and N95 facemasks. On the other side, due to inefficiencies in the waste management and carelessness of the people, a lot of this medical waste is entering the water bodies – posing serious dangers to marine life.
A solution to fight – COVID and Pollution
An Indian company from the city of Lucknow, OptiMaser along with the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) – has developed a microwave-based disinfection system.
The technology will sterilize the masks to make them re-usable.
Not only save costs but also protect the environment.
Due to the increased usage of the protective equipment by medical professions, patients, and the common public, there were reports of this bio-medical waste going to landfills & further polluting the oceans. Putting aquatic and marine life under severe threat.
In addition, the system gives the ability for the healthcare sector to reduce costs that are incurred to buy new PPE kits and N95 facemasks.
The system works similar to microwave, but it does not burn/melt the materials, only kills any micro-organisms (bacterias) from the substance.
The technology has passed the testing grounds from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Jodhpur, and Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), Lucknow.
At a single instance, 500 masks can be disinfected in less than 10 minutes, with minimal energy consumption, making it effective for even small-scale facilities.
The equipment comes with a bucket and a revolving plate in which as many as 25 PPE kits can be placed at a time for disinfection.
The system will undergo few more rounds of testing before it comes out in the market, but considering the gravity of the situation, we only hope the system comes out real soon and help in our fight against the virus – COVID and Pollution, the resultant menace.
As an additional note, this solution does not absolve us from disposing of our waste responsibly. Due to the hazardous & infectious nature of medical waste, all such waste (including the contaminated facemasks) should be thrown in a red bag/bin.
Photo by jannoon028 – www.freepik.com