A new scientific study asserts that nanofibers in the masks we are wearing by the billions could put us at serious risk for respiratory inflammation and even cause a cancer known as mesothelioma. These nano-plastics are shed from many different masks being used across the globe and can be inhaled into the lungs, where they impede breathing. One of the issues is that these nanofibers made by nanotechnology industries approximate the size of asbestos – and we all know how deadly that substance turned out to be.
The study is called “Need for assessing the inhalation of micro(nano)plastic debris shed from masks, respirators, and home-made face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic.” According to journalist Jeffrey Jaxen of The Highwire, the researchers used an electron microscope to scan the mask's inner part that faces our mouth. Unsurprisingly, some fragments and particles are loosely attached to the structural fibers of the product. But the scan revealed micro-sized fibers – as well as sub-micron or nano-sized fibers.
Why is this a problem? According to a 2012 study done by Professor Ken Donaldson at the University of Edinburgh:
“Concern has been expressed that new kinds of nanofibers being made by nanotechnology industries might pose a risk because they have a similar shape to asbestos. Nanofibers, which can be made from a range of materials, including carbon, are about 1,000 times smaller than the width of human hair and can reach the lung cavity when inhaled. This ...