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The Environmental Impact of COVID-19:
An Ebook

In Spring of 2023, the Environmental Chemistry course at Santa Clara University created an ebook.

Download the ebook here. 



Alisha Burch, Chloe Heath, Shivali Mrityunjay Hiremath, Giulia Mantovani, Lindsey Matulionis, Lexi McGowan, Jack Petersen, Arianna Stetson, Erica Svendahl, Rushil Vasant, and Benjamin Blaze Wong



Environmental Chemistry Spring 2023

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Santa Clara University


Editor and Instructor

Amy Shachter, Ph.D.


Arianna Stetson





1. Mask Life Cycle Assessment – Giulia Mantovani, Erica Svendahl

  1. Introduction

  2. Material Acquisition

  3. Production

  4. Transportation

  5. Use and Disposal

  6. Conclusion

  7. References


2. The Environmental Impact of Medical Waste – Jack Petersen, Arianna Stetson, Benjamin Blaze Wong

  1. Introduction

  2. How did COVID-19 Affect the Disposal of Medical Waste—Landfill Route

    1. Types of Landfills

      1. Municipal Solid Waste Landfill

      2. Hazardous Waste Landfill

      3. Open Dumps

    2. The Disposal Process in Landfills

    3. Disposal Methods for PPE Waste Before Reaching Landfills

    4. Conclusion

  3. How did COVID-19 Affect the Disposal of Medical Waste—Incineration Route

  4. Summary and a Look to the Future

  5. References


3. Ocean Pollution – Lindsey Matulionis, Lexi McGowan

  1. Introduction

  2. Medical Waste Disposal and Ocean Pollution

    1. Waste Disposal and Toxicity

    2. Microplastics

      1. Marine Life

      2. Human Life

  3. Chlorinated Disinfectants

  4. Toxic Chemicals

    1. Plastics and toxic Organic Chemicals

    2. Plastics and Heavy Metals

  5. Conclusion and Future Directions

    1. Current Developments

    2. Future Developments

  6. References


4. Air Pollution – Chloe Heath, Rushil Vasant

  1. Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change

  2. Changes in Human Activity

  3. Public Health Concerns

  4. References


5. Resource Depletion – Alisha Burch, Shivali Mrityunjay Hiremath

  1. Introduction

  2. The Over-Dependency Problem

  3. Shortage of Imported Goods due to COVID-19

  4. Infrastructural Effects on the Environment

  5. Healthcare Resources

  6. The Indian Case-Study

  7. Psychology Through the Pandemic

  8. Exploitation of Habitats and Ecosystems

  9. Conclusion

  10. References




Abbreviations and Terminology

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