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Ways to Safely Dispose Anti Bacterial, Precautionary, Mask Used By Patients, Caregivers etc

Ambili S Kartha
Pregnancy

Created by Ambili S Kartha
Updated on Mar 19, 2020

Ways to Safely Dispose Anti Bacterial Precautionary Mask Used By Patients Caregivers etc
Reviewed by Expert panel

As the number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is rising alarmingly all over the world, it is the time to make stronger efforts to prevent it from spreading further. Wearing surgical/ antibacterial face masks (especially in crowded areas) using hand sanitizer, and washing hands frequently, are typical preventative measures. Droplets of sneeze and cough are loaded with infectious microbes that transmit disease. A three-layered surgical face masks filter these microbes and stop it from spreading. 

However, proper usage and disposal are really important for masks to be effective against the Coronavirus infection. Careless handling and careless disposal of the antibacterial mask in public places invite more serious consequences. Here are the ways to safely dispose of the anti-bacterial, precautionary, mark used by patients, caregivers in an environment-friendly manner.

What Is Infectious Antibacterial Mask?

Infectious masks are face masks that carry disease-causing microbes. As the virus can stay active for one or two days (in humid conditions), the used masks can become a new source of infection. A used mask should be considered as potentially infected medical waste.

How to Properly Dispose of Antibacterial Mask

The masks used by patients, their relatives, and other suspects are what is usually considered infectious medical waste. However, due to the above reasons, the masks we use as a precaution should also be considered as such. Hence, proper use and disposal in either situation are crucial during an epidemic.

For the present mask situation, there are two places the masks will need to be disposed of - at home and in hospitals. As the hospitals usually have a service for safely disposing of medical waste, it’s the home where the challenge needs addressing. Therefore, there are only two ways to safely dispose of the masks:

  1. Follow the process to disinfect & destroy used masks at home

  2. Find and throw the masks (with due steps) in a medical waste container

Disposing Of Used Mask At Home

Masks can be disposed of safely following a simple process at home. The process you follow has minor differences depends on who had been using the mask:

  • Someone wearing as a precautionary measure

  • Someone who took care of an infected person

  • The infected person

Disposing Precautionary Masks

Step 1: Disinfect

  • Find a good disinfectant spray from the nearby store. You can find several disinfectant sprays like Dettol Disinfectant spray, Lysol Disinfectant Spray at general stores near you

  • Spray disinfectant on both sides of the used masks. Disinfected masks will not become a second source of the infectious disease

Step 2: Pack Airtight

  • Fold the masks and place in a plastic bag or a zip lock bag

  • Seal the bag airtight

  • Place this tightly sealed bag in the dustbin

Step 3: Wash Your Hands

  • Wash your hands thoroughly as soon as disposing of the mask

  • Never put a new face mask with unwashed hands

Masks Used By Patients, Care Givers, Close Contacts of Covid-19 Patients

Step 1: Create a Disinfectant Solution

  • Make a 5% bleach solution. For this, mix1 part liquid bleach and 9 parts water

Step 2: Use Gloves

  • Wear gloves and put the used mask in this solution

Step 3: Burn or Bury Deep

  • After treating it in disinfectants, burn it up or bury it deep

How to Dispose of Anti Bacterial Mask Through Medical Waste Containers

There are specific rules to deal with the classification, collection, transportation, and disposal of infectious biomedical waste.  It should be collected in special containers and should be transported in special vehicles by qualified well-trained people with all safety measures 

  • Special medical waste containers with a particular color should be arranged in the public disposal points to collect used masks.

  • Wrap the used mask in plastic bags before disposing of it to avoid getting exposed to the air.

  • Licensed companies will collect, transport, and dispose of medical waste systematically.

Medical waste is disposed of after a sterilization procedure in high temperature that kills and inactivates the microbes.

How to Properly Use Antibacterial Mask?

Guidelines for proper usage of antivirus masks (including Covid-19 precautionary masks):

  • Carefully unfold and Place the mask over nose, mouth, and chin after making sure the flexible nose piece is over the nose bridge.

  • Tie the upper string above the ears and lower string at the back of the neck. 

  • Tie firmly so that there is no gap between the face and the mask.

  • Change the mask immediately once it becomes wet 

  • Change the mask even if it is not wet in every 6 hour

  • To remove mask first untie the lower string and then the upper string 

  • For further handling, use the upper strings of the mask rather than the lower ones. 

  • When removing the mask, never ever touch the potentially tainted outer surface.

  • A triple-layer mask should not be re-used

What Are The Consequences Of Improper Disposal Of Masks?

The main consequence is the increased possibility of used masks turning to a new source of infection. Other consequences are:

  • It Can Cause Occupational Hazards:  Healthcare workers, waste collection and disposal staff, can get the infection through improperly disposed of masks. 

  • The Disease May Spread Through Junk Collectors:  If used masks are mixed with household waste, it can pose health hazards to the garbage sorting people when they put bare hands in the waste bins to collect items that can be recycled. 

  • Can Be Resell or Re-use:  As there is a possibility of insufficiency of masks due to the increased needs, carelessly thrown masks in public places may be re-used or resold by people who are unaware of its harmful effects.

Overlooking the importance of the disposal of an infectious antibacterial mask in an environment-friendly manner is as dangerous as the epidemic or infection.

 

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Mar 19, 2020

Excellent and useful information! Thanks for sharing!!

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| Mar 19, 2020

Great information

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| Mar 19, 2020

very nice

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| Apr 06, 2020

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