The Coronavirus Pandemic has resulted in unprecedented changes in the livelihoods of billions of people around the globe. This blog post will explore the effects that the virus has had on the plastics industry as well as the individual consumer.
How long can COVID-19 live on plastic surfaces?
Since this virus has emerged, questions have been raised by the medical community about how long the virus usually lives on different surfaces. Viruses generally remain active on stainless steel, plastic, and similar hard surfaces than on fabric and other soft surfaces.
It’s been found that the virus can live up to 72 hours on plastic surfaces. This finding has led many to question the safety of surfaces or items that may have come in contact with the virus. For example, the grocery store was seen as a location where shoppers could be more easily exposed to the virus, due to a large number of people touching the same items (i.e. food transport workers, grocery store employees, other customers, cashiers, etc.). The public reaction has ranged from doing nothing to the groceries that are brought home to not bringing the groceries into the home for at least 72 hours and wiping down each item with a disinfecting wipe.
The Use of Plastics in Medicine
The demand for face masks, personal protective equipment, and viral testing supplies has been unprecedented and has resulted in a shortage of these essential items for governments around the world. In response, companies have ramped up production of the products they were producing or have converted their entire production line to manufacturing essential equipment/items.
Medical grade masks, including the most common surgical mask and N-95 respirator, are made of plastic. An N95 mask and surgical mask are made from non-woven Polypropylene fibers , Millions of these masks are being deployed to front-line workers, particularly at hospitals to prevent them from becoming infected or from transmitting the virus. Plastics producers have been ramping up production of raw materials, and medical device suppliers are working to convert the plastic fibers, sheets, and housings into functional protection devices.
In addition to facial masks, plastic face shields are being used to protect medical workers from coming in contact with the virus. These shields are being produced not only by PPE manufacturers but also by people around the world with personal 3d printers. 3d printing has been used during this pandemic to produce everything from parts of ventilators to face shields.
As a result of increased demand, the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) that is being discarded daily is increasing as well. These items are thrown away because they are assumed to have come in contact with the virus and therefore cannot be reused if they were contaminated. Research is being conducted to analyze the efficacy of sterilization methods in killing the COVID-19 virus, in hopes that the supply of PPE does not face shortages.
VEECHEM GLOBAL is a top supplier of polymers, as well as additives, blends, and masterbatches. Veechem global has grown from a single product line to hundreds of products and multiple product divisions.
VeeChem Global is a name trusted when it comes to the leading raw plastic material stockiest and distributor in The UAE and East Africa, especially for industrial polymers. We are also known for our extensive involvement in the research and development with manufacturers and new entrants of new and existing products. Ranging from high impact polystyrene sheet to expanded polystyrene foam, we are able to support in consistent supply of all good quality products.
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