Masks Are a Ticking Time Bomb

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by Dr. Joseph Mercola

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • It’s estimated that 129 billion face masks are used worldwide each month, which works out to about 3 million masks a minute
  • Not only are masks not being recycled, but their materials make them likely to persist and accumulate in the environment
  • Because masks may be directly made from microsized plastic fibers with a thickness of 1 mm to 10 mm, they may release microsized particles into the environment more readily — and faster — than larger plastic items, like plastic bags
  • Microbes from your mouth, known as oral commensals, frequently enter your lungs, where they’ve been linked to advanced stage lung cancer; wearing a mask could potentially accelerate this process
  • The “new normal” of widespread masking is affecting not only the environment but also the mental and physical health of humans

The planet may be facing a new plastic crisis, similar to the one brought on by bottled water, but this time involving discarded face masks. “Mass masking” continues to be recommended by most public health groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite research showing masks do not significantly reduce the incidence of infection.1

As a result, it’s estimated that 129 billion face masks are used worldwide each month, which works out to about 3 million masks a minute. Most of these are the disposable variety, made from plastic microfibers.2

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