Plastic film protects surfaces against novel coronavirus on contact

Plastic film protects surfaces against novel coronavirus on contact
Laboratory tests showed film containing silver-silica nanoparticles to be capable of eliminating 99.84% of SARS-CoV-2 particles after exposure for two minutes. Credit: Promaflex

An adhesive plastic film designed to protect surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons, and touch screens inactivates the novel coronavirus on contact.

The manufacturer of the film is Promaflex. It has nanoparticles of silver and silica built into its polyethylene structure, thanks to technology developed by Nanox, a Brazilian company based on São Paulo and supported by São Paulo Research Foundation, through FAPESP’s Innovative Research in Small Business Program (PIPE).

In tests conducted at the University of São Paulo’s Biomedical Sciences Institute (ICB-USP), which has laboratories certified for Biosafety Level III (BSL-3), the film proved capable of eliminating 99.84% of the viral particles after two minutes of contact.

“The technical standard governing measurement of antiviral activity on plastic and other non-porous surfaces, ISO 21702, requires demonstration

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A first-of-its-kind catalyst mimics natural processes to break down plastic and produce valuable new products

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

While plastics recycling is not new science, current processes don’t make it economically worthwhile— waste plastics get “down-cycled” into lower grade, less useful material. It’s a challenge that continues to be an obstacle in tackling a growing global pollution crisis in single use plastics.

A multi-institutional team of scientists led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has developed a first-of-its-kind catalyst that is able to process polyolefin plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene, types of polymers widely used in things like plastic grocery bags, milk jugs, shampoo bottles, toys, and food containers. The process results in uniform, high-quality components that can be used to produce fuels, solvents, and lubricating oils, products that have high value and could potentially turn these and other used plastics into an untapped resource.

“We’ve made a big step forward with this work,” said Aaron Sadow, a scientist at Ames

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Groundbreaking study finds 13.3 quadrillion plastic fibers in California’s environment

A first-of-its-kind study in California has laid bare the staggering scale of pollution from plastic microfibers in synthetic clothing – one of the most widespread, yet largely invisible, forms of plastic waste.

Photograph: Rachel Ricotta/AP

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Rachel Ricotta/AP

The report, whose findings were revealed exclusively by the Guardian, found that in 2019 an estimated 4,000 metric tons – or 13.3 quadrillion fibers – were released into California’s natural environment. The plastic fibers, which are less than 5mm in length, are primarily shed when we wash our yoga pants, stretchy jeans and fleece jackets and can easily enter oceans and waterways.

“The findings were nothing short of shocking,” said Alexis Jackson, fisheries project director at the Nature Conservancy in California, which commissioned the study from a research team at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The study has not yet been peer reviewed or published.

Many picture ocean

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