Covid-19 face masks: A potential source of microplastic fibers in the environment. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Covid-19 face masks: A potential source of microplastic fibers in the environment.
Sci Total Environ. 2020 Jun 16 ;737:140279. Epub 2020 Jun 16. PMID: 32563114
Oluniyi O Fadare
The increase in production and consumption of face mask across the world has given rise to a new environmental challenge, adding to the vast plastic and plastic particle waste in the environment. Some of these materials are getting into waterways from where they reach the freshwater and marine environment adding to the presence of plastics in the aquatic medium. For instance, OceansAsia, an organization committed to advocacy and research on marine pollution, reported in February 2020, the presence of face masks of different types and colours in an ocean in Hong Kong. Also, the collection of face masks along a highway and drainage in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, on May 5, 2020 (Fig. 2 ). This new emergence of face masks as environmental litter both in the terrestrial and aquatic environment is a piece of evidence that the global pandemic has not in any way reduced the challenge of increasing plastic pollution in the environment.