‘Wearing many common types of face masks causes you to breathe in microplastics’

Investigating the current status of COVID-19 related plastics and their potential impact on human health. (Study published online 2021 Aug 13).


Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a sudden global increase in the production, consumption, and mismanagement of personal protective equipment (PPE). As plastic-based PPE such as disposable face masks and gloves have become widely used, human exposure to PPE-derived pollutants may occur through indirect and direct pathways. This review explores the potential health impacts related to plastic-based PPE through these pathways. Face masks release microplastics, which are directly inhaled during use or transported through the environment. The latter can adsorb chemical contaminants and harbor pathogenic microbiota, and once consumed by organisms, they can translocate to multiple organs upon intake, potentially causing detrimental and cytotoxic effects. However, more research is required to have a comprehensive overview of the human health effects.


Introduction

Plastics are one of the most ubiquitous materials used across the planet. In the last 60 years, global plastic production has increased 20-fold, reaching 368 million tons in 2019. However, the improper management of plastic waste and its environmental persistence has resulted in the accumulation of plastics in many environments. Plastic debris and particularly microplastics (herein referred to as MP; plastics smaller than 5 mm) are considered ubiquitous pollutants and have been reported in water, soil, air, living organisms, as well as in processed food and drinking water. Therefore, human exposure to MPs is inevitable, and it is imperative to determine their impacts on human health.

The global immensity and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic were defined by the rapid and effective spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. This led to a global pandemic declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. The pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented surge in the production and consumption of single-use plastics (SUPs), including personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE are wearable items that protect the user against infectious diseases, such as SARS-CoV-2, and these items are mostly made from synthetic SUP. The monthly global consumption of face masks and gloves is 129 billion and 65 billion, respectively. This massive consumption of PPE has created an unbearable burden for conventional solid waste management worldwide, leading to the exacerbation of plastic pollution with new types of litter. Exposure to pollutants related to COVID-19 PPE (e.g. MPs, plastic additives, and viruses) may occur through direct and indirect pathways. We define direct pathways as ways in which individuals are immediately exposed to these pollutants during PPE use and management, while indirect pathways result in exposure over extended durations as PPE undergoes different processes. Given the health concerns related to plastic pollution, the unprecedented quantity of PPE being consumed and mismanaged into the environment worldwide, it is necessary to critically analyze the threats of PPE to human health. In this review, we present how PPE pollution is driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and how the direct and indirect exposure pathways of this pollutant can potentially implicate human health.

More to read with all relevant research links here
h/t Marks Daily Apple here

Covid 19 and it’s many variants has not gone away. Many of us do still wear face masks, like the picture above, while others prefer a fabric type. Many people worldwide have suffered with MaskneLike it or not we are all still learning to live with Covid 19, and my mask is always with me …  

As always many thanks for taking time to visit and read this blog. Please share your thoughts about this post/article in the comments section, but most importantly, stay safe and well and enjoy your day.

~ in the meantime some flowers for you to enjoy ~

All the best Jan

Investigating the current status of COVID-19 related plastics and their potential impact on human health. (Study published online 2021 Aug 13).


Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a sudden global increase in the production, consumption, and mismanagement of personal protective equipment (PPE). As plastic-based PPE such as disposable face masks and gloves have become widely used, human exposure to PPE-derived pollutants may occur through indirect and direct pathways. This review explores the potential health impacts related to plastic-based PPE through these pathways. Face masks release microplastics, which are directly inhaled during use or transported through the environment. The latter can adsorb chemical contaminants and harbor pathogenic microbiota, and once consumed by organisms, they can translocate to multiple organs upon intake, potentially causing detrimental and cytotoxic effects. However, more research is required to have a comprehensive overview of the human health effects.


Introduction

Plastics are one of the most ubiquitous materials used across the planet. In the last 60 years, global plastic production has increased 20-fold, reaching 368 million tons in 2019. However, the improper management of plastic waste and its environmental persistence has resulted in the accumulation of plastics in many environments. Plastic debris and particularly microplastics (herein referred to as MP; plastics smaller than 5 mm) are considered ubiquitous pollutants and have been reported in water, soil, air, living organisms, as well as in processed food and drinking water. Therefore, human exposure to MPs is inevitable, and it is imperative to determine their impacts on human health.

The global immensity and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic were defined by the rapid and effective spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. This led to a global pandemic declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. The pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented surge in the production and consumption of single-use plastics (SUPs), including personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE are wearable items that protect the user against infectious diseases, such as SARS-CoV-2, and these items are mostly made from synthetic SUP. The monthly global consumption of face masks and gloves is 129 billion and 65 billion, respectively. This massive consumption of PPE has created an unbearable burden for conventional solid waste management worldwide, leading to the exacerbation of plastic pollution with new types of litter. Exposure to pollutants related to COVID-19 PPE (e.g. MPs, plastic additives, and viruses) may occur through direct and indirect pathways. We define direct pathways as ways in which individuals are immediately exposed to these pollutants during PPE use and management, while indirect pathways result in exposure over extended durations as PPE undergoes different processes. Given the health concerns related to plastic pollution, the unprecedented quantity of PPE being consumed and mismanaged into the environment worldwide, it is necessary to critically analyze the threats of PPE to human health. In this review, we present how PPE pollution is driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and how the direct and indirect exposure pathways of this pollutant can potentially implicate human health.

More to read with all relevant research links here
h/t Marks Daily Apple here

Covid 19 and it’s many variants has not gone away. Many of us do still wear face masks, like the picture above, while others prefer a fabric type. Many people worldwide have suffered with MaskneLike it or not we are all still learning to live with Covid 19, and my mask is always with me …  

As always many thanks for taking time to visit and read this blog. Please share your thoughts about this post/article in the comments section, but most importantly, stay safe and well and enjoy your day.

~ in the meantime some flowers for you to enjoy ~

All the best Jan