Environmentalist urges caution in disinfection of public places

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AN environmental activist, Mr. Adewole Taiwo, has called for caution in the disinfection of public places to avert negative effects on the environment and human health.

Taiwo made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.

He said that call came in line with the Federal Government’s decision to disinfect public places as the lockdown was gradually being eased.

“The proposed disinfecting of public places is a welcome idea but the question that begs to be asked is “what are the chemical been used?

“Does it contain a high percentage of about 75 per cent ethanol alcohol; at least the public should be aware of what best disinfectant to use. It is not appropriate to use chemicals meant for bacterial to treat the virus.

“How long does the disinfectant last after application at the contaminated areas or surfaces? What happens if droplets from COVID-19 drop on surfaces a week or day after disinfecting?

“These are basic information the appropriate authority should be dishing out as we approach opening of public facilities,” Taiwo told NAN.

The expert reiterated the need for continuous preventive measures like hand washing and the use of hand sanitisers, while outlining the negative impact of indiscriminate disposal of PPE paraphernalia on the environment.

“The best measure still has to do with washing of hands with soap and using alcohol based sanitiser. BUT the big question is, if you are a carrier of the virus, you use your hands in opening a tap for instance, washed your hands and at the same time use the same hand in locking the tap!

“Someone else will come use their hand to open the tap again and may likely get infected! This is where technology and innovation comes in there are taps with sensors you do not need to touch them before use.

“Another big question is availability of water in all public facilities. Also what even happens to the water used in washing hands with soap, how are they disposed?

“The effect of disinfecting the environment is the increase in water consumption and also disposal of lots of water containing chemicals (soap). Also are the wipes or tissue papers used in wiping the hands after washing disposed properly?

“There is a need for LASEPA and the various safety commissions to come up with basic guidelines in setting up the hand washing and proper disposal of the waste water and tissues.

“I will suggest that the tissues, hands gloves and facemasks should be disposed in a separate bags tied very well and after 24hrs it can be placed in the general bin to be handled specialists and not the scavengers that will reap it off looking for valuables,” he said. (NAN)

– May 29, 2020 @ 14:05 GMT |

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