After decades of recycling and limiting pollutants in our air, the US population has been forced to make a 180 degree turn to prevent COVID spread in their workspace.
Disinfectant sprays, disposable paper products and plastic barriers are now at the forefront of most businesses’ reopening strategies.
Lysol disinfectant spray, touted by the CDC as effective against fighting COVID, has received an “F” rating by the Environmental Working Group for its effects on the environment and human body as it contains “MIPA-Borate, Ammonium hydroxide and petroleum gases.”
Plexiglass, being used by salons and casinos as a barrier between customers, contains methyl methacrylate (MMA), which can accumulate short term in a local environment but are not theorized to cause long term damage.
Some restaurants are turning to paper menus rather than cleaning reusable ones, so as to discard each after use.
And don’t get me started on the toilet paper apocalypse…..
Brick and mortar stores who have turned to online sales while forced to shut down are utilizing exponential amounts of boxes for packaging.
Customers waiting to be seated at a restaurant or salon need to wait outside or sit in their car. During the summer months, cars will need to be turned on and idle to as to allow air conditioning during the wait. This produces more emissions.
So our paper, plastic and aerosol use has exploded in such a short period of time, causing business owners to wonder, will these methods need to be reversed once environmental experts sound the alarm?
I suggest before businesses invest in thousands of dollars of products they may be forced to abandon in the near future to try to aim for “environmentally friendly” solutions if they can. Not easy, but it could be a mess if both the COVID and Environmental “crises” collide…
Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.