Used masks from trash resold on Mexico streets

A group representing Mexican pharmacy owners said Monday it has received reports about people picking used surgical face masks out of the trash and reselling them. Rumors about the practice have swept several countries in Latin America because face masks are frequently sold individually on the street by unlicensed vendors.

The masks have become popular items during the coronavirus pandemic, and are required in public spaces in some cities. There have been reports of shortages and price increases for the masks. The Mexican Pharmacy Owners Unions advised Mexicans to cut their used masks into pieces before throwing them away. Sharing or re-using masks presents a risk of infection.

Another industry group warned about buying hand sanitizer gel on the street, saying vendors were refilling name-brand bottles with gels that may not contain 70% alcohol.

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