I see them hanging in shrubbery, along gutters and blowing across parking lots.  These are the discarded blue plastic masks so common in our current way of life.  For all those who claim burning the face coverings is an environmental hazard, so is tossing them in the streets.  The website Study Finds carries a shocking headline.  Three million face masks are thrown out every minute.  You can read more by clicking on this link.

If you’re wearing a plastic mask all day at work, can fibers contaminate your airways and lungs?

Danish researchers warn the tiny plastic micro fibers will end up in lakes, streams and oceans.  Where over time the fibers will become even smaller and infect marine life.  All those cities on the Left Coast banning plastic shopping bags need take notice.

One recommendation is to buy more expensive cloth masks.  The type you can wash and use over and over again.  We should note some of the ear straps are made from plastic products.  This is a great idea in theory but I’m not quite so sure in practice.  “It should be that way,” isn’t reality.  We’ve long lived in a disposable society.  Many people coming home from work aren’t likely going to launder masks every night.  A mixture of water and alcohol is recommended and then you can hang a mask to dry.

Clearly, I’m not a scientist and a question I’ve got for the experts is a simple one.  If you’re wearing a plastic mask all day at work, can fibers contaminate your airways and lungs?  An uncle of mine worked construction for many years and later in life found breathing difficult.  He had suffered asbestos poisoning.  He spent the last 30 years of his life carting around an oxygen tank.

We may be asking even more questions and it may be years before we have all the answers.

 

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