How to dispose of used sanitary face masks during Covid-19 National Jan 09. 2021


The Pollution Control Department has outlined steps for proper disposal of non-reusable sanitary face masks. The guidelines come in the wake of soaring domestic usage due to the new wave of Covid-19 in Thailand since December.

“Face masks used by Covid-19 patients, their close contacts and medical professionals treating them are considered infectious waste and must be disposed of under regulations announced by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment,” said Attapol Charoenchansa, department director-general.

The protocol that hospitals and quarantine facilities must follow in disposal of infectious waste includes putting them in double layer of red bags that are opaque, water and chemical resistant, with a clear label identifying it as “infectious waste”. Some disinfectant or bleach must be poured on the waste before tying the bag tightly with rope and then stored at a separate location from general waste until local officials come and pick them up.

“As for face masks used by the general public in their daily life, they should be cut or torn apart before being thrown away to prevent reuse.

“Used face masks should be put in a separate garbage bag from general waste and be dumped at designated points for used face masks in your community. Most importantly, avoid having used face masks in your home for more than seven days.”

For people who are in self-quarantine at home to monitor their symptoms after possible exposure to the virus, Attapol suggested they put used face masks in a double layer of garbage bags, then tie the bag tightly with a string and label the bag “Used Sanitary Face masks”, before dumping it at designated points for used face mask in your community.

“Office or business venues should follow the same protocol as self-quarantine persons, but they should pour some disinfectant or bleach over used face masks before tying the bag with a string,” he added.

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