COVID-19-related personal protective equipment (PPE) contamination in the highly urbanized southeast Brazilian coast

Victor Vasques Ribeiro, Gabriel E. De-la-Torre, Ítalo Braga Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aimed to report personal protective equipment (PPE) contamination in Santos beaches (Brazil) using standardized procedures for the first time while comparing two periods to understand the progression of PPE contamination. The occurrence of PPE items was ubiquitous in all sampled sites, although the densities were relatively low compared to those in other parts of the world. Unlike previous studies, reusable face masks were the most common type of PPE. PPE density in the studied areas was similar in both sampling seasons, probably because of the influence of tourism, urbanization, and local hydrodynamic aspects. PPE items can release microfibers into the aquatic environment and pose entanglement hazards to marine biota. A wider monitoring of PPE pollution, accompanied by surveys on PPE usage and behavior, as well as chemical characterization of the discarded PPE items, is needed to fully understand this unprecedented form of plastic pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113522
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume177
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Coronavirus
  • Mask
  • Monitoring
  • Plastic
  • Reusable

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