COVID-19 Employer Liability | Cleaning and maintenance management


Even when pathogens are removed from facilities through cleaning and flushing them down the drain, they remain dangerous. Researchers from the University of Stirling in Scotland have found that viruses can survive and remain infectious by attaching to plastics in water sources, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Pollution.

The study found that rotavirus, which causes diarrhea, can survive and remain infectious for up to three days when it binds with microplastics. He also found that gastrointestinal viruses in sewage are able to bind to small pieces of plastic waste and then enter waterways, including rivers and lakes.

Although lipid-coated pathogens and viruses, such as influenza virus, die quickly when in the freshwater environment, those without lipid coating, such as norovirus, might survive.

“Even if a treatment plant does everything it can to clean the wastewater, the discharged water still contains microplastics, which are then transported along the river, in the estuary, and end up on the beach. “said Richard Quilliam, professor of environment and health at the University of Stirling and co-author of the study. “We didn’t know how well viruses could survive hitchhiking on plastic in the environment, but they survive and stay infectious… It doesn’t take a lot of virus particles to make you sick. “

Businesses and facilities can help prevent infectious viruses in waterways by reducing their use of plastics and following proper plastic disposal/recycling protocols.

Find out how to switch to eco-friendly and sustainable cleaning to use less plastic products.


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