Disinfecting streets with chemicals harms environment, say experts
Ece Çelik – ISTANBUL
As all streets across Turkey are being disinfected against the coronavirus, environmental associations and experts say that the disinfection measures using chemicals will damage the ecosystem by killing all bacteria, rather than reducing the risk of disease transmission.
Twenty-nine environmental and professional associations across the country have released a statement to explain the harm of washing cities with chemicals.
Energy and climate expert Önder Algedik from 350 Ankara, an Ankara-based environmental NGO, who prepared the text, drew attention to the chemical hazard in disinfectants.
“Municipalities are washing the city squares with liquids containing a wide variety of chemicals. So where are these chemicals going? These substances dry the tree roots, kill a large number of bacteria and microorganisms. So, it disrupts the ecosystem,” she said.
“Municipalities’ moves to show off without consulting public health experts cause great damage to the ecological cycle,” she noted.
Public health expert Kayıhan Pala emphasized that washing the streets with different chemicals during the pandemic period would not be beneficial to break the chain of infection.
Referring to the need for local governments to take more care in collecting waste, Pala said that energy should not be spent on works that do not help combat the epidemic.
“There are millions of viruses and bacteria in the world. It is not possible to destroy all of these in terms of the sustainability of the ecosystem. Municipalities should not move away from the light of science while conducting their works,” he said.