PPE Disposal – Be Safe

Angie Szumlinski Health

I recently spent a few days circling a University hospital where a family member was being treated. Visitation was limited to one person, the same person, daily. As I walked around the beautiful campus and across the street to a public park/playscape, I noticed something disturbing, facemasks and gloves disposed of in the public area, hanging from trees, settled into piles of leaves, blowing about freely.

My question is, as healthcare professionals working the front line, caring for victims of this horrible virus, why do we not feel responsible for our environment? We are trained on how to dispose of these items, we understand the ramifications of poor infection control procedures, etc. yet we drop these PPE supplies randomly in public areas? Healthcare workers are working endless hours under extreme conditions, and we thank you. However, as we all continue to adjust our lives during this pandemic, even the smallest things can have a huge impact.

CBU Daily News published an article on the appropriate way to discard personal protective equipment to avoid hurting the environment. Again, thank you for all you have done and continue to do during these unprecedented times. The environmental impact of PPE disposal is enormous however there are plans and systems in place. Please utilize the appropriate disposal areas within your healthcare setting. Stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!