Discarded Gloves and Masks are Polluting the Oceans – How it Affects Children

With the current state of the world in regards to the COVID-19 disease, people of the world has been advised by WHO to ensure that they wear a mask every time they are out of their homes. Now, these products, along with gloves, and wipes, are all made of plastic.

As we all know, the world has slowly been getting polluted by plastics since they do not get broken down easily. They go into the sewer systems to attract other harmful chemicals, which are then directed to the oceans to cause even more harm. This is actually a growing environmental hazard. The use of masks is designed to help us fight the current risk of contracting the disease, but the improper disposal of the masks is only making it more dangerous for us to keep living in the world. 

Now, the damage goes further than the marine ecosystem and, as such, these materials are not good for you. Even if they are plastic they should be disposed of in the right way to curb the dangers they expose us to.

Discarded Gloves and Masks are Polluting the Oceans - How it Affects Children
Image Source: Wikipedia.org

How Does the Pollution of the Oceans Affect Children?

The ocean actually plays a very important role in our life on earth. It is the provision of more than 70% of the Oxygen that you breathe. In addition, 97% of the water supply in the world comes from the oceans. Every day, man-made pollution seems to be attacking the oceans and now, with the added danger of the masks, things are looking grim, to say the least.

The pollution of the oceans will, therefore, not only affect marine life, but it will affect mankind too. This is especially true for our children who do not have very strong immune systems. The everyday toxic chemicals that are being thrown in the oceans usually come back in the form of oxygen and “clean” water as we have stated above.

Which Chemicals are Children Being Exposed to?

When you discard masks and gloves in the wrong way, they attract chemicals such as pesticides, lead, oil, and mercury. These are very heavy metals and they can contaminate our food, water supplies, and kill marine animals.

Imagine now what is happening to the poor helpless children that we feed with this food. They will end up fighting many diseases and some of them may die from causes we may not even understand. And all of this will be due to our pollution today.

If you are exposed to these chemicals for a long time, it can result in some very serious health problems such as reproductive issues, hormonal issues, and even damage to your nervous system and your kidneys.

While these are problems that everyone can suffer from, kids are the worst affected since they are not strong enough to fight them.

What can you do to Help?

These are some serious issues. So, how should you take care of your environment?

  • Do not litter. Dispose of your masks in the right way.
  • Put clean materials only in your recycling bins. You must ensure that you only leave the right products for recycling. 
  • PPE should only be put in the regular trash and not trash that needs to be recycled. 
  • Carry a bag for the masks with you. Ensure you always have a bag handy with you when you are traveling, so you can dispose of. the mask in the right way in case you wish to make a change. Do not throw it on the ground.
Discarded Gloves and Masks are Polluting the Oceans - How it Affects Children
Image Source: Wikipedia.org

Conclusion

Above all, stay safe and try to stay indoors. We should all be extra careful so we do not make things even worse for ourselves when all this is over.