Environmental impact and end-of-life options of disposed polymeric spectacle and contact lenses

African Vision and Eye Health

Field Value
Title Environmental impact and end-of-life options of disposed polymeric spectacle and contact lenses
Creator Pillay, Rayishnee Hansraj, Rekha Rampersad, Nishanee Bissessur, Ajay
Subject optometry; environmental sciences; analytical chemistry environmental biocompatibility; spectacle lenses; contact lenses; ICP–OES; elemental analysis; calorific values; lens disposal
Description Background: Global population growth and ageing are factors that contribute towards an anticipated increase in the usage of spectacles and contact lenses for vision correction. The subsequent disposal of polymeric vision corrective devices currently, has uncertain environmental impacts.Aim: The purpose of this study was to explore potential environmental impacts and end-of-life (EOL) pathways of a sample of polymeric spectacle lenses and through the use of analytical chemistry processes.Setting: Laboratory analysis of ophthalmic lenses.Methods: Inductively coupled plasma–optical emission spectroscopy (ICP–OES), elemental analysis and calorific value investigations were conducted on a sample of spectacle lenses and contact lenses.Results: Metal ion analysis by ICP–OES confirmed the presence of manganese in all the lenses and chromium in two of the 13 contact lenses. All of the lenses had over 42% carbon while calorific values of up to 32.40 MJ/kg and 23.31 MJ/kg were found in the spectacle lenses and contact lenses, respectively.Conclusion: Further investigation is required regarding the presence of chromium in two of the contact lenses. In general, lenses are likely to remain as solid waste in landfills depending on the disposal conditions. Considering their calorific values, lenses would be useful in incineration with energy recovery processes however the suggested ideal EOL route would be the implementation of lens recycling, through non-toxic and green chemical processes, to retain material value and promote a circular economy.Contribution: This study provides new information on the environmental consequences of current modes of lens disposal and suggests EOL alternatives thereof.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2023-06-20
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — original research
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/aveh.v82i1.775
Source African Vision and Eye Health; Vol 82, No 1 (2023); 10 pages 2410-1516 2413-3183
Language eng
The following web links (URLs) may trigger a file download or direct you to an alternative webpage to gain access to a publication file format of the published article:

https://avehjournal.org/index.php/aveh/article/view/775/2112 https://avehjournal.org/index.php/aveh/article/view/775/2113 https://avehjournal.org/index.php/aveh/article/view/775/2114 https://avehjournal.org/index.php/aveh/article/view/775/2115
Coverage South Africa 2020-2021 spectacle lenses, contact lenses
Rights Copyright (c) 2023 Rayishnee Pillay, Rekha Hansraj, Nishanee Rampersad, Ajay Bissessur https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0