Connect with us

World

‘Astonishing’ Amount Of Masks Thrown Out During Pandemic: Scientists

Published

on


Alarm bells went off among environmental scientists in February, as COVID-19 spread across Europe and inched toward North America. 

Professor Tony Walker was still teaching in full lecture halls at Dalhousie University when he connected with a team of Portuguese researchers to investigate a parallel crisis about to unfold. 

“We saw the writing on the wall,” Walker told HuffPost Canada. 

“A global pandemic, 7.7 billion people. There’ll be a lot of masks.” 

Based on early data from Italy, the researchers estimated the world would use 129 billion masks  each month of the pandemic, according to their article published in June. However, like plastic bags and packaging, single-use masks would be almost impossible to recycle — the vast majority destined for landfills or littered.

And if only one per cent of the world’s masks are disposed of incorrectly, 10 million masks per month weighing close to 90,000 pounds will end up in nature, according to the World Wildlife Fund. That’s on top of the 52 billion pounds of plastic carried by rivers into oceans each year, washing up on shorelines, entangling wildlife and contaminating drinking water with microplastics.



Plastic gloves, face masks and other waste in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of southern France on May 21, 2020.

This personal protective equipment (PPE) waste could also be contaminated with COVID-19, which can live on plastic for up to three days, said Walker. 

“Indeed, mismanaged PPE can contribute to global plastic contamination but also act as potential vectors of the COVID-19 disease,” Walker and University of Aveiro researchers Joana Prata, Ana Silva, Armando Duarte and Teresa Rocha-Santos wrote in their article. 

The amount of waste Canada would generate if the 37 million of us all relied on single-use masks to stop the spread of COVID-19 is staggering. 

The researchers estimated one person will use about 17 masks a month, each roughly the equivalent weight of a maple leaf, or about 3.5 grams.

HuffPost crunched the numbers. In Canada that would mean:

  • Every hour, we use about 6,700 pounds’ worth of masks — the weight of four large bull moose;
  • Every week, we use one million pounds’ worth of masks — the weight of three blue whales, the world’s heaviest animal;
  • And every year, we use 59 million pounds’ worth of masks — the weight of three Eiffel Towers. 

Click on the “Launch AR” button below to be taken to a 3D gallery experience.



On mobile, use two fingers to resize and rotate, or view it in your own space by clicking the “See it in your space” button on the top right. On desktop, use your mouse or touchpad to zoom and rotate.

These “enormous, astonishing” amounts of masks are on the conservative side, Walker said. 

“I would say now our paper grossly underestimated the numbers.” 

Health Canada, for example, estimated the country produced 50 million pounds of face mask waste in the first four months of the pandemic alone. 

‘Thrown around like candy wrappers’

When Toronto went into lockdown in March, partners and environmental scientists Justine Ammendolia and Jacquelyn Saturno broke up the monotony with walks around their neighbourhood. 

Environmental scientists Justine Ammendolia, left, and Jacquelyn Saturno collect personal protective equipment waste in their



Environmental scientists Justine Ammendolia, left, and Jacquelyn Saturno collect personal protective equipment waste in their Toronto neighbourhood as part of a research study.

In the beginning of the pandemic, they’d see a mask on the ground occasionally. They’ve both been studying littering and pollution for the last couple of years and wondered if masks would become “the next cigarette butt” or if the ones they spotted were just a fluke, Ammendolia said.

As public health officials began to encourage people to wear masks to stop the spread of COVID-19, Ammendolia and Saturno saw more and more PPE litter — predominantly single-use masks and sanitary wipes — and recorded their daily tallies as part of a scientific survey.

In a four-week period, the pair recorded 1,300 items littered along a trail, in a few commercial parking lots, and on five-kilometre routes through their west end neighbourhood and around downtown hospitals. 

“The numbers are one thing, but it doesn’t describe the problems in the environment,” Ammendolia said. 

Masks littered near waterways or sewer grates could cause blockages during storms and end up in larger water bodies, like Lake Ontario, said Saturno. Plus there’s the concern used face masks are considered biohazardous materials as they could be carrying the coronavirus.

“Which is shocking to see around the hospital districts, how much we’ve been able to find,” Saturno said.

“What took us off guard was the lack of regard in the city,” Ammendolia added. “Masks and gloves are thrown around like candy wrappers.” 

A mask and other personal protective equipment waste, such as sanitary wipes, Justine Ammendolia and Jacquelyn Saturno found



A mask and other personal protective equipment waste, such as sanitary wipes, Justine Ammendolia and Jacquelyn Saturno found during walks in Toronto.

They want to see more messaging from municipalities educating the public about how to safely dispose of PPE — in a tied plastic bag placed in the garbage. 

And single-use plastic products aren’t necessary to protect against COVID-19, Saturno noted. Handwashing with soap and water and wearing reusable cotton masks are just as effective. 

If the public wore reusable masks, waste would be reduced by 95 per cent, researchers at London’s Global University’s Plastic Waste Innovation Hub found. They took into account the additional energy and plastic required to package and transport both types of masks and machine washing of reusable masks.

In an effort to make PPE for healthcare workers compostable and recyclable, the federal government invited groups to submit ideas this fall and will grant money to successful applicants to develop the products. Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada said it received 90 proposals. 

Winnipeg-based Precision ADM has created a reusable respirator for health-care workers.



Winnipeg-based Precision ADM has created a reusable respirator for health-care workers.

Winnipeg-based Precision ADM, a digital manufacturing firm, has begun shipping its first batch of 3D-printed N95 respirators, which health-care workers can sanitize and reuse up to 30 times, said Graeme Findlay, director of marketing. They’ll replace disposable masks that have to be thrown out between patients.

The company anticipates one N95 respirator will replace 120 to 300 disposable masks over the course of 30 shifts. Some components of the respirators are even recyclable.

Dorma Filtration has developed a N99 respirator (which filters out 99 per cent of aerosols) that also can be used 30 times, and is entirely recyclable. 

“We decided that we not only wanted to build the best mask out there, but we also wanted it to be reusable to reduce our environmental footprint,” said Dr. René Caissie, a surgeon and co-founder of Dorma Filtration. “There is huge demand for it.” 

The Montreal-based company is filling orders for 50,000 to 100,000 respirators and is also developing an in-house recycling program that will hopefully roll out in March. 





Source

Advertisement

Entertainment

Watch Joe Biden Launch Groan-Worthy Joke At George Clooney In White House

Published

on



Biden first praised all the honorees as “an incredible group of people.”

“And we the people, we see character. We see Amal Clooney’s husband,” the president cracked.

The tease got laughs, including from the actor himself.

Clooney’s wife, Amal, is a prominent and accomplished human rights attorney.

The quip was a “version of one of Biden’s most well-worn gags,” Mediaite noted.

Biden got serious and praised the two-time Oscar winner for his activism on behalf of 9/11 victims’ families and refugees, and his support for survivors of the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting and their work for gun reform.

“That’s character,” Biden said. “That’s George Clooney.”

Other honorees included singer Amy Grant, singer Gladys Knight, composer Tania Leon and the rock band U2.

The ceremony at the Kennedy Center was highlighted by a routine by Sacha Baron Cohen scorching former President Donald Trump and rapper-turned-vocal Hitler appreciator Ye (formerly known as Kanye West). There was also a public appearance by Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who was seriously injured in October by a hammer-wielding home invader.





Source

Continue Reading

Entertainment

George Clooney, U2, Gladys Knight Among 2022 Kennedy Center Honorees

Published

on



WASHINGTON (AP) — A heartfelt Patti LaBelle praised her lifelong friend Gladys Knight. Sean Penn called U2 “four scrappy Dublin punks.” Ballet dancers performed for conductor and composer Tania León. Matt Damon playfully teased his friend George Clooney — a lot — while Sheryl Crow delivered a heartfelt rendition of “Baby Baby” to Amy Grant during Sunday’s Kennedy Center Honors.

Knight, Clooney, Grant, León and U2 were all celebrated at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which annually honors a select group of people for their artistic influences on American culture. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their respective spouses were in attendance, as were members the President’s Cabinet and Congress.

One audience member from the political world — Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — drew some attention. He is recovering from a brutal attack in the Pelosis’ San Francisco home in October. The couple received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Normally performers like U2 or Knight would be headlining such a show, but during the Kennedy Center event the honorees sit in the balcony and watch as their peers laud them and perform their works.

On the red carpet, Clooney, with his wife, Amal, beside him, joked that after seeing friends like Don Cheadle and Julia Roberts in attendance he was worried his tribute would be more of a “roast.” And it was a bit like that, though his friends and family showed obvious respect.

Roberts set the tone by coming out onstage with a dress emblazoned with photos of Clooney. After an introduction that alternated between funny and heartfelt she turned to a set designed to look like a smoky bar — the type Clooney might enjoy. The actor’s father, Nick Clooney, regaled the crowd with stories of a young George, including the time the 7-year-old — heartbroken over the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 — gave his father all his toy guns.

Damon took the funny road, joking about how Clooney once stole then-President Bill Clinton’s stationery and wrote notes to fellow actors on it. Cheadle highlighted Clooney’s philanthropic work. But it was Clooney’s father who probably had the strongest praise, telling the crowd and his son, sitting in the balcony between León and U2′s Bono, “George’s best and most important work is still ahead of him.

Standing on a stage lit by a massive sign reading “Gladys,” LaBelle called Knight her “everything,” saying they had been friends for six decades and had seen each other through laughter and tears. “We do everything together,” LaBelle said. “I am honored to honor you tonight.”

Actor and hip-hop star LL Cool J said that whenever Knight sings she connects with people. “I once heard Gladys sing the ABCs and I thought I was in church,” he said.

Knight — usually with her backup singers, The Pips — has recorded dozens of albums with such classic hits as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.” The challenge of singing that classic in front of the woman who made it famous fell to country music superstar Garth Brooks, who is a Kennedy Center honoree in his own right. He cited Knight’s “roots in country music” before launching into the classic.

Each artist was introduced by a video compilation showing snippets of their lives. In Grant’s, her children talked about their mother’s influence on them. Crow talked about Grant’s influence on her when she was a young college student.

“Amy also taught me that it was possible to be funny, irreverent and Christian all at the same,” said Crow.

Five ballet dancers took to the stage to honor composer and conductor Tania León, who left Cuba as a refugee in 1967; her passport was stamped “Cancelado” when she left the country. The performers were from the Dance Theatre of Harlem, which León helped found when she eventually made her way to New York City. She also instituted the Brooklyn Philharmonic Community Concert Series and in 2021 received the Pulitzer Prize for her work “Stride,” inspired by women’s rights champion Susan B. Anthony.

“How do I convey the extent of your musical genius?” asked actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith. Jazz pianist Jason Moran, singer Alicia Hall Moran and cellist Sterling Elliott played one of León’s creations, “Oh Yemanja.”

The last honoree of the night was U2. In a video taped Saturday, U2 guitarist The Edge noted that a group of four “Irish lads” were being honored for contributions to American culture and said there’s a bond between the group and America that can’t really be explained.

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder sang U2′s “Elevation” and “One.” Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen brought his alter ego Borat to the stage as part of the U2 tribute, pretending to mistake Biden for former President Donald Trump. Singers Brandi Carlile, Hozier and Jamala — from the U.S., Ireland and Ukraine, respectively — closed out the show with an emotional version of “Walk On.”

U2′s Bono is also known for his philanthropic work to eradicate poverty and to raise awareness about AIDS. Jamala, whose home country of Ukraine has been embroiled in nearly a year of bloody warfare after the Russian invasion, touched on that history of social activism as she introduced the night’s final song.

“It’s fitting that on the night meant to honor them they have once again used their platform to spread a message of peace. Honestly to be here in this bright warm hall this evening is really something extraordinary for me, when there is so much darkness in my home country Ukraine,” she said.

The honorees came to the theater from a White House reception where Biden praised them before a star-studded East Room crowd as an “exceptional group of artists.”

“Thank you for showing us the power of the arts and ‘We the People,’” Biden said.

AP White House Correspondent Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Follow Santana on Twitter @ruskygal.





Source

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Tattoo Removal Studio Offers Freebies To Regretful Kanye West Fans

Published

on



A London tattoo removal studio is offering free sessions to people who no longer want Kanye West inked on their bodies.

Naama Studios first posted the offer last month, saying it would remove tattoos of the rapper, who has changed his name to Ye, free of charge.

The business later shared videos of two happy clients who had taken advantage of the deal, promoted with the tagline “Yeezy come, Yeezy go.”

“When you have a tattoo inspired by someone you admire and they end up making headlines for all the wrong reasons…” the post read.

“We understand that tattoos can be triggering for some people and not everyone can afford to remove their tattoos,” the business told The Washington Post. According to the Post, several people had already started to process of getting Ye tattoos removed, and around ten more had reached out to Naama for consultations. The procedure reportedly costs up to 2000 pounds (roughly $2400).

Ye lost fans and placed his business empire in crisis after making a series of antisemitic and hateful statements in public since early October. He was repeatedly suspended from social media platforms and dropped by most of his professional partners.

On Thursday, he openly defended Adolf Hitler and Nazis during a trainwreck interview on Alex Jones’s Infowars show, accompanied by white supremacist Nick Fuentes. Later that day, he was suspended from Twitter for tweeting a swastika merged with the Star of David.





Source

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Theo James Was Shocked By ‘Ginormous’ Prosthetic Penis Used For ‘The White Lotus’ NSFW Scene

Published

on



Actor Theo James has a massive…sense of humor when it comes to starring in nude scenes for HBO’s “The White Lotus.”

Appearing Friday on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” the actor — who went viral for a steamy scene in the second season premiere of the comedy-drama series — revealed that the fake “pee-pee” he wore for the NSFW scene in the show was “ginormous.”

The much-talked-about nude scene features James, who plays businessman Cameron Babcock, stripping completely naked to change into a swimsuit while Harper (Aubrey Plaza) watches in the bathroom.

“The truth of it was, you go into these scenes, and you have a conversation with the director and the producers and they go, ‘Okay, for this, we’re going to use a prosthetic,’” the 37-year-old recalled of the popular scene. “And you say, ‘Okay, that sounds good.’”

However, despite giving his input to makeup chief Rebecca Hickey about wanting to sport a more modest faux penis, things didn’t quite go according to plan.

“I said, ‘Honestly, I just want it not to be distracting,’” he told host Jimmy Fallon.

“It needs to be ‘Regular Joe.’ Because the scene, you know, it’s not about the pee pee; it’s about power play and sex. It’s about whether he did it deliberately or whether it was an accident and what that means. She says, ‘I got you. Yeah, I got you. Regular Joe.’” James continued.

To James’ surprise, “Regular Joe” was not what he received.

According to the British actor, when he arrived on set, Hickey approached him with a fake penis so outrageously large that it looked like she had “a hammer.”

“I mean, it’s bigger than that. It’s like she stole it off a donkey in the field. The thing is ginormous. And me and the director, Mike White, are sitting there going, ‘That’s… average, is it?’” he joked.

James then quipped that both he and White immediately ran off to call their “respective partners” to profusely apologize, like “I’m so sorry.”

“It was nine inches flat and about four inches wide. We were like, ‘What the hell is that?’” he added, laughing.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight in October, James shared it “felt natural” to go sans clothes in front of the camera for the scene in the primetime Emmy-winning series.

He jokingly added, “It is in my contract that I’m not allowed to do anything without being completely naked.”

Just a month later, James told the outlet that audiences didn’t get a chance to see the initial scene they planned because it was “way too much,” so they “toned it [down].”

“The original derivation of it, it’s kind of full-frontal, if you know what I mean. We shot that and it felt too much, too aggressive,” he told Entertainment Weekly in November. “What we came to is a bit more opaque, and that’s exactly what Mike does so well. You’re never sure a hundred percent of the characters’ intentions.”

“The White Lotus” airs new episodes on HBO and HBO Max at 9 p.m. on Sunday nights.





Source

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Prince Harry Hits Out At ‘Baseless’ Story That Pits ‘Him Against His Country’

Published

on



Prince Harry is shutting down a recent report that accused him of telling a friend “Those Brits need to learn a lesson” ahead of the couple’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey last year.

The global press secretary for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told HuffPost that “this is a baseless hit piece masquerading as journalism.’”

“This story is riddled with inaccuracies, not least of which is a quote erroneously attributed to Prince Harry,” the spokesperson said Sunday.

“To accuse a man who spent 10 years serving his country of wanting to teach that same country a lesson is not only an attempted distraction but an unfortunate and predictable tabloid strategy,” she added. “To pit him against his country is shameful and manipulative, especially when Prince Harry has never spoken ill of the British public.”

The Sun did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for further comment.

The story and response come on the heels of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s recent, three-day tour of Boston, where they were for the Earthshot Prize Awards.

As the tour nearly coincided with the release of Harry and Meghan Markle’s forthcoming Netflix docuseries, a palace source prior to the trip said the Prince and Princess of Wales wouldn’t “be distracted by other things.”

A trailer for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s six-part series with the streaming giant dropped on the second day of William and Kate’s royal tour, leading many to question the timing of its release.

In the teaser, a voice asks Harry, “Why did you want to make this documentary?”

“No one sees what happens behind closed doors,” the prince responds. “I had to do everything I could to protect my family.”

“When the stakes are this high, doesn’t it make sense to hear our story from us?” Meghan later adds in the clip.





Source

Continue Reading

News

Trump rebuked for call to suspend Constitution over election

Published

on

Donald Trump Farmer President United States of America

WASHINGTON – (AP) – Former President Donald Trump faced a rebuke from officials in both parties on Sunday after his lie about “abolishing” parts of the Constitution that said the 2020 election was stolen.

Trump, who announced last month that he was running for president again, made the claim over the weekend on his Truth social media platform.

“A colossal fraud of this type and magnitude warrants the abolition of all rules, regulations and articles found in the Constitution,” he wrote. “Our great ‘Founders’ did not want and will not condemn false and fraudulent elections!”

Incoming House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries on Sunday called Trump’s statement “strange and extreme” and said Republicans must make a choice whether to continue with Trump’s anti-democratic views.

“Republicans are going to have to work through their issues with the former president and decide if they are going to break away from him and get back to a cause or continue to bow to the extremism of Trumpism, not Trump. ” Jefferies said.

Trump, the first person to be impeached twice and whose term expires on January 6, 2021, has been a rising offender, with supporters violently attacking the Capitol in a deadly bid to block a peaceful transition of power. is facing probe, involving multiple cases. for a fee. These include an investigation into classified documents seized by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago, and ongoing state and federal inquiries related to efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Asked about Trump’s comments on Sunday, Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said he “strongly” disagrees and “absolutely” condemns the remarks, adding that his The pass is a factor as Republicans decide who should lead their party in 2024.

“There is a political process one has to go through before one can move forward or even become a party candidate,” he said. “I believe people are certainly going to consider a statement like this as they evaluate a candidate.”

Rape. Elector Mike Lawler, R-New York, also objected to the remarks, saying it was time to stop focusing on “grievances from prior elections”.

“The Constitution was laid down for a reason, to protect the rights of every American,” Lawler said. “I think the former president would be well-advised to focus on the future if he is going to be president again.”

Trump’s comments come after Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, said he would reveal how Twitter was complicit in “free speech suppression” in the run-up to the 2020 election. Hunter, don’t show the Democrats trying to limit the story.

The White House criticized Trump on Saturday, saying “you can’t love America when you win.”

“The US Constitution is a sacred document that has guaranteed liberty and the rule of law in our great country for more than 200 years,” spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement. soul of our nation.”

Jefferies spoke on ABC’s “This Week”, Turner appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” and Lawler appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union”.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Kenan Thompson’s Herschel Walker Is Confident About His Erection On ‘SNL’

Published

on

He addressed Tennessee GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn (Cecily Strong) as “your Highness,” called Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell (James Austin Johnson) “Mr. McDonald,” and admitted there are still “so many” bad things about him people don’t know.

At the end of a long tale of bad things, “Walker” concludes: “Anyway, she didn’t want to keep it, so I drove her down to the Planned Parent Trap.”

When voting by mail was mentioned, “Walker” noted: “You gotta remember, they still gotta count votes by female.”

The Republican brain trust was so rattled they decided to lock Walker in a room — just for a few days.





Source

Continue Reading

Trending