Nanoplastics and other harmful pollutants found in disposable face masks

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Sumary of Nanoplastics and other harmful pollutants found in disposable face masks:

  • Swansea University scientists have uncovered potentially dangerous chemical pollutants that are released from disposable face masks when submerged in water..
  • The research reveals high levels of pollutants, including lead, antimony, and copper, within the silicon-based and plastic fibres of common disposable face masks..
  • Outlined in a recent paper, the tests carried out by the research team used a variety of masks — from standard plain face masks to novelty and festive masks for children with many currently being sold in UK retail outlets..
  • The rise in single-use masks, and the associated waste, due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been documented as a new cause of pollution..
  • The findings reveal significant levels of pollutants in all the masks tested — with micro/nano particles and heavy metals released into the water during all tests..
  • “The production of disposable plastic face masks (DPFs) in China alone has reached approximately 200 million a day, in a global effort to tackle the spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 virus..
  • “There is a concerning amount of evidence that suggests that DPFs waste can potentially have a substantial environmental impact by releasing pollutants simply by exposing them to water..
  • Many of the toxic pollutants found in our research have bio-accumulative properties when released into the environment and our findings show that DPFs could be one of the main sources of these environmental contaminants during and after the Covid-19 pandemic…

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