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Monday, April 26, 2021
The unforeseen effects of sanitizers and disinfectants on soil microbes during disease outbreak
While the world is busy exploring the ability of sanitizers and other chemicals to stops what we so call bugs (bacteria and viruses) from spreading, we forget the effect of those chemicals on our environment. Specifically soil which has been serious brutalized by millions of gallons of chemicals, blame not to gravitation force that pull everything to the soil but to human being who has failed to put measures to protect what will feed him tomorrow. Starting with we should know what sanitizer is:
Sanitizer is a substance or fluid designed to kill germs on skin and objects. This is the simple definition you will get from most of the online dictionaries although on my side the definition is not clear enough and base only on one side (good side). Although this chemical was designed to kill bad microbes it doesn’t mean it will spare life of the good ones, meaning that whatever bacteria (harmful or harmless) will suffer the same consequence accordingly.
Related post: How sanitizers cause antibiotic resistance
Microbes play very huge and essential role when it comes to soil productivity. These are some of advantages of soil microbes as well explained by SESL AUSTRALIA.
· Breaks down organic matter
· Recycle nutrients
· Create humus
· Create soil structure
· Nitrogen fixation
· Promote plant growth
The clear answer is yes, especially when there is extensive usage of those chemicals and their improper (or poor) disposal like what is happening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people dispose their used chemicals to the environment with or without knowing its effect to the beneficial microbes (including soil microbes), also some authority have used high tech machines to spray disinfectants to the environment where by large percentage of those disinfectants will end up in soil.
What I think two things must be done, first of all is to educate the society about the effect of those chemicals to the environment and second to provide them with the alternative way of destroying/disposing their chemicals.
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