In The Spotlight
The Casa Presidencial has announced some restrictions will be reduced beginnining February 1st 2021 and will continue for the month.
As the world looks to the covid vaccine to provide immunity from a corona virus outbreak that is believed to be responsible for over 2 million deaths worldwide as of January 17 2021, (worldometers.info), access to the approved vaccines has been slow.
Transport Canada issued a news release New Years Eve, while everyone was enjoying the end of 2020 and the start of a better year.
This fun version of a brief history of Costa Rica is well worth your time. Contains some good information you may not know, but should.
As an update, Costa Rica in 2019 has restored forested land to comprise an estimated 50% of the country.
We especially like the comment, Cost rica is Nice - Be like Costa Rica.
An excellent HD video for the wilderness fans
An interesting Documentary on the geo-engineering debate surrounding chemtrails.
Some good advice on things you should know before visiting.
We would add that while most restaurants add the service charge or tip of 10%, the staff are not paid the same as they are in Canada. One should leave a minimum of 10% in addition to what is on the bill. In some places the service charge is not included and you should consider leaving 20%, especially if the service was good.
As of July 2019, restaurants are required to add the 13% sales tax to all bills. In some restauants both the service charge and the tip are included in the price. That will be indicated on the menu or near the entrance. If you are not sure, ask.
The FDA's released a warning to consumers and health care providers regarding hand sanitizers labeled as containing ethanol, however instead tested positive for methanol. Methanol can be toxic when absorbed through the skin and deadly if swallowed.
One of the biggest risks wth these products is the chance that a child may ingest some of the tainted hand sanitizer.
"The agency is aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to recent adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death," the FDA stated.
The FDA warned consumers of nine hand sanitizers to avoid back in June and has recently added more brands that tested positive for methanol.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using sanitizers that contain at least 60% ethanol alcohol, as well as frequent hand-washing. For many stores it is mandatory to use hand sanitizer before entering the place of business.
It may be best to carry your own, so you know the product is safe.
The FDA urged consumers to stop using these methanol based products, which should be immediately discarded in hazardous waste containers. "Do not flush or pour these products down the drain."
The following is the latest available list of all the potentially toxic sanitizers, according to the FDA:
4E Global's Blumen Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer with 70% Alcohol
4E Global's Blumen Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear Ethyl Alcohol 70%
4E Global's Blumen Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear
4E Global's Klar and Danver Instant Hand Sanitizer (labeled with Greenbrier International Inc.)
4E Global's Modesa Instant Hand Sanitizer Moisturizers and Vitamin E
4E Global's Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer
4E Global's Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe
4E Global's Blumen Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender
4E Global's Blumen Clear Lear Advanced Hand Sanitizer
4E Global's Blumen Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer
4E Global's The Honeykeeper Hand Sanitizer
4E Global's Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Clear
4E Global's Blumen Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer
4E Global's Blumen Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe
4E Global's Blumen Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender
4E Global's Blumen Aloe Advanced Hand Sanitizer, with 70% Alcohol
4E Global's Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Lavender, with 70% alcohol
4E Global's Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe, with 70% alcohol
4E Global's Blumen Antibacterial Fresh Citrus Hand Sanitizer
4E Global's Blumen Hand Sanitizer Fresh Citrus
4E Global's Klar and Danver Instant Hand Sanitizer
4E Global's Hello Kitty by Sanrio Hand Sanitizer
4E Global's Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Vitamin E and Aloe)
4E Global's Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Aloe and Moisturizers)
4E Global's Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Vitamin E and Aloe
4E Global's Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe and Moisturizers
4E Global's Blumen Instant Hand Sanitizer Fragrance Free
4E Global's Blumen Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe Vera
4E Global's Assured Aloe
AAA Cosmetica's bio aaa Advance Hand Sanitizer
AAA Cosmetica's LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 4 oz
AAA Cosmetica's LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 16 oz
AAA Cosmetica's QualitaMed Hand Sanitizer
DDI Multinacional's Earths Amenities Instant Unscented Hand Sanitizer with Aloe Vera Advanced
DDI Multinacional's Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare
DDI Multinacional's Vidanos Easy Cleaning Rentals Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare
Eskbiochem's All-Clean Hand Sanitizer
Eskbiochem's Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
Eskbiochem's Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer
Eskbiochem's The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer
Eskbiochem's CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
Eskbiochem's CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol
Eskbiochem's CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
Eskbiochem's Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer
Grupo Insoma's Hand sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol
Limpo Quimicos' Andy's Best
Limpo Quimicos' Andy's
Limpo Quimicos' Gelclor
Limpo Quimicos' NeoNatural
Limpo Quimicos' Plus Advanced
Liqesa Exportacion or Liq-E-S.A.'s Optimus Lubricants Instant Hand Sanitizer
Maquiladora Miniara's Shine and Clean Hand Sanitizer
Maquiladora Miniara's Selecto Hand Sanitizer
Mystic International's Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer
Soluciones Cosmeticas' Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free
Soluciones Cosmeticas' Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer
Soluciones Cosmeticas' Hand sanitizer (labeled with Wet Look Janitorial and Gardening Corp.)
Tropicosmeticos' Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%
Yara Elena De La Garza Perez Nieto's Daesi hand sanitizer
Real Clean Distribuciones's Born Basic Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer
Real Clean Distribuciones's Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer
Real Clean Distribuciones's Scent Theory – Keep It Clean – Pure Clean Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer
Real Clean Distribuciones's Cavalry
Real Clean Distribuciones's ENLIVEN Hand Sanitizing Gel
Real Clean Distribuciones's Lux Eoi Hand Sanitizing Gel
Real Clean Distribuciones's Keep It Clean
Real Clean Distribuciones's Hand Sanitizer
MXL Comercial's Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol (labeled with Resource Recovery & Trading LLC)
MXL Comercial's Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol Rinse Free Hand Rub (labeled with Resource Recovery & Trading LLC)
ITECH 361's All Clean Hand Sanitizer, Moisturizer and Disinfectant
Transliquid Technologies's Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer
Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer
The marine research group Oceans Asia has released a report titled, Masks on the Beach: The Impact of COVID-19 on Marine Plastic Pollution. The article outlines important issues regarding the global impact of PPE face masks as a source of pollution globally.
Single-use face masks are made from a variety of meltblown plastics and are difficult to recycle due to both composition and risk of contamination and infection. These masks enter our oceans when they are littered or otherwise improperly discarded, when waste management systems are inadequate or non-existent, or when these systems become overwhelmed due to increased volumes of waste.
“Using an annual global production estimate of 52 billion masks, we calculate that1.56 billion maskswill enter our oceans in 2020, amounting to between 4,680 and 6,240 tonnes of plastic pollution.”
Around the world, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the production and use of personal protective equipment (PPE), such asmasks and gloves,has skyrocketed. The value of the global face masks market was~$0.79 billion USD in 2019, but expanded to an estimated~$166 billion USD by the end of 2020.
One report in June predicted that the volume of this market will peak at more than 52 billion units by the end of 2020.This rapid increase in production still falls short of demand –in June the World Health Organization (WHO) and others estimated that 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves would be needed on a monthly basis in order to protect people worldwide.
Regardless of whether the face mask offers adequate protection from a virus which is smaller than the majorty of masks are capable of filtering, PPE face masks are currently in use around the world as a means of personal protection from Sars Covid-19 and other pathogens. One issue that is rarely discussed is what happens to these disposable masks once they are discarded.
If they truely function as intended then they should be disposed of as a harzardous waste product, since they could contain virus particles, bacteria, molds or fungus.
If disposed of properly they still end up in landfills, and add to the accumulation of plastics in the environment.
The improper disposal of single-use plastic PPE has led to a surge in plastic pollution, most notably in our oceans and waterways. This increase was brought to world attention when we first reported finding face masks washing up on remote beaches in the Soko Islands, Hong Kong in late February 2020. Since then, with each visit, we have continued to find masks on beaches around Hong Kong.
Unfortunately, this problem is not limited to Hong Kong; divers with Opération Mer Propre found masks on the sea bed during a clean up near the Côte d'Azur, France.
Photographer, Dan Giannopoulos photographed over 300 discarded gloves and masks found around Southampton, United Kingdom (UK) over the course of 4 days.
The news is full of stories of PPE littering cities around the globe.
The proliferation of masks in the environment reveals weaknesses in our waste management systems and irresponsible practices/habits on the part of individuals.
It also serves to illuminate an issue that has been accumulating for decades–unchecked plastic pollution contaminating our environment. The accumulation of plastic in the environment is not a recent phenomenon, but it is one that is becoming increasingly problematic and unavoidable – encountering plastic debris on a visit to the beach is almost inescapable.
Here on Playa Potrero, Canadian visitors helping with a beach cleanup in December, were shocked to find dozens of discarded plastic hypodermic needles washed up on the beach. Other plastics containers and discarded items are a constant source of concern. It's inevitable that discarded masks will soon become a new source of waste washing up on our shores.
The research indicates additional plastic pollution created by the COVID-19 pandemic is but part of a much larger problem. While this problem is not new, the urgency of the call to action grows louder as the plastic piles up.
You can view or download the research document here.
To support the work of Oceans Asia or get involved by sponsoring a project visit here
The following information is provided by the US Embassy in Costa Rica and provides relevant travel information for US citizens who wish to visit Costa Rica. Information was updated October 2nd.