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Gloves and disinfecting wipes being dumped in grocery store parking lots by customers

HOUSTON – As concerns over the new coronavirus continue to rise in the Houston area and throughout the country, grocery store shoppers are finding dozens of used gloves and disinfecting wipes dumped in store parking lots.

“It’s very scary, it’s very stressful,” said shopper Archie Lee.

KPRC 2 visited a H-E-B, Food Town and an International food store in southwest Houston and found the discarded personal protection equipment in every parking lot.

“I understand you don’t want to take the germs back home but you could at least do your part and sanitize,” said Shopper Courtney Foster-Duncan.

Archie Lee was shopping with his family while wearing a mask and gloves but said he comes prepared with a plastic bag so that he doesn’t add to the problem.

“I clean them like this, clean them up real good and then when I take them off, I take a bag, take them off and put them in here,” Lee said.

The concern for most is the spread of germs and possibly the coronavirus

“We know these viruses can live in these surfaces anywhere between two hours to two days,” said Isabel Valdez, a physician assistant at Baylor College of Medicine.

According to Valdez, the issue is a public safety matter and that people should dispose of the items properly to avoid cross contamination.

Valdez suggests throwing them away in a trash bag since bio hazard bags aren’t available for the general public.

She also suggests taking it a step further before throwing the items away.

“Even using hand sanitizer on gloved hands, even doing that might be a good way to clean off the virus, get rid of the virus and dispose of the gloves that way,” Valdez said.