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Title: Environmental implication of personal protection equipment in the pandemic era: LCA comparison of face masks typologies
Authors: Rodríguez, Núria Boix
Formentini, Giovanni
Favi, Claudio
Marconi, Marco 
Journal: Procedia CIRP 
Issue Date: 2021
In the present global health emergency, face masks play a key role in limiting the diffusion of the COVID-19 pandemic, by acting as physical barriers to avoid droplets and filtrate exhalations coming from infected subjects. Since the most widespread devices are disposable products made of plastic materials, this means that relevant quantities of fossil resources will be consumed, and huge amounts of wastes will be generated. The present paper aims to compare the environmental performances of five different typologies of face masks (i.e. 3D printed reusable mask with filter, surgical mask, filtering face-piece masks - FFPs with and without valve, washable masks), considering an average Italian use scenario and the whole mask lifecycle: materials, manufacturing processes, use, sanitization, and disposal. The Life Cycle Assessment methodology has been used to assess the environmental impacts in terms of both ReCiPe midpoints and endpoints. Reusable masks and masks with interchangeable filters could potentially contribute to improve the environmental performances in all the considered impact and damage categories. Eco-design actions can be developed starting from the study results.
DOI: 10.1016/j.procir.2021.01.108
Appears in Collections:D1. Contributo in Atti di convegno

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