The same fanatics who yelled at us for using plastic straws are now demanding that all Americans wear face masks known to leech microplastics into the environment.
“Our oceans will be flooded with an estimated 1.56 billion face masks in 2020,” a Dec. 7 report by the marine conservation organization OceansAsia stated. “Plastic consumption, which has been steadily rising for years, increased significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Sea of Masks
Among the many double standards that embody the coronavirus social-curb hysteria, rarely mentioned is the massive mandated boost to a chemical industry that has been vilified as a leading trigger of “global climate change” with its production of billions of masks made with synthetic fibers. Yet these masks, which nanny-state progressives consider a badge of social consciousness, are clogging our world’s waterways as a prominent pollutant to marine life.
“These masks will take as long as 450 years to break down, slowly turning into micro plastics while negatively impacting marine wildlife and ecosystems,” OceansAsia asserted. “The report used a global production estimate of 52 billion masks being manufactured in 2020, a conservative loss rate of 3%, and the average weight of 3 to 4 grams for a single-use polypropylene surgical face mask to arrive at the estimate.”
Even the cotton masks that local, state, and federal officials in the United States urge citizens to wear routinely contain plastic. Palm Beach County, Florida, mailed masks to all residents in the second half of 2020. The masks – made in Bangladesh and not the good old USA – have a “100% Cotton outer shell” and “65% Polyester 35% Cotton Inner Lining.” There are 1.5 million people living in this county located on a peninsula surrounded by sea.
And what about the health threat posed by wrapping synthetic fibers around one’s nose and mouth? A 2018 study by English and French researchers found that “[p]lastic fibres have been observed in pulmonary tissue, suggesting that the human airway is of a sufficient size for plastic fibres to penetrate the deep lung.”
London’s Evening Standard newspaper reported:
“There is already concern that putting synthetic clothes such as fleeces in washing machines is leading to plastic-based fibres being released into the oceans. Now scientists say there is an ‘urgent need for data on the human health impacts’ of inhaling the non-biodegradable chemicals.”
The more you don your mask, or wash it in your washing machine, the more you increase the possibility of microplastic leeching. “You’re applying friction to your garments through general wear and tear as you move and sit down, which sheds fibres … upon contact with tissue or cells it could trigger inflammation,” the Evening Standard quoted report author Dr. Stephanie Wright of King’s College.
But it’s not only plastics that you should worry about as you strap your government mandate around your visage. Many commercial face masks are pre-treated with formaldehyde, which the Environmental Protection Agency has classified as a “probable human carcinogen.”
Amazingly, the very people quaking with fear over catching a virus with a 98% survival rate don’t seem too alarmed by the prospect of draping fabrics pre-treated with toxic chemicals over their breathing holes. Numerous articles online reference allergy concerns from formaldehyde and other chemicals but do not focus on cancer.
[School of Medicine assistant professor of dermatology Dr. Anna L.] “Chien notes that some commercial face masks are pre-treated with formaldehyde to disinfect them. If you’re allergic to that chemical, those masks could spark a breakout.” That is Johns Hopkins University addressing the issue. Look out, that carcinogen might give you acne. Johns Hopkins has played a leading role in framing the “expert” narrative on the coronavirus in the United States.
Turtle Lives Matter — Sometimes
At the height of the plastic-straw outrage campaign in 2017, the Global Poverty Project, which stages its own annual music festival, wasn’t pulling any punches:
“[O]nce straws make it into bodies of water, they can end up terrorizing marine animals that mistake them for food and choke on them or get them caught in their guts. Some animals get straws painfully jammed into orifices, like this turtle whose suffering sparked widespread outrage.”
Included in this article from the group’s Global Citizen website was a link to a YouTube video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck in a most unfortunate position. It currently has just shy of 15 million views.
Yet in August this organization could be found partnering with the World Health Organization and other globalist health groups to promote World Mask Week. They weren’t kidding around with the name, either. Global Poverty Project wanted the entire world to mask up. From a Global Citizen post:
“Mathematical modeling published by researchers from several international universities in April found that if masks were worn by 80% to 90% of the population, coupled with social distancing, it could eventually eliminate the disease.”
Gee, that’s an awful lot of masks. As environmental activist Dave Ford noted in an August article published at Scientific American:
“The practical problems with gloves and masks finding their way into our rivers and oceans is that they can easily be mistaken for jellyfish, a favorite food of sea turtles. Because of their elastic components, masks also have increased risks of entanglement for a wide variety of fish, animals and birds.”
Apparently, sea turtle orifices matter only when Americans are sipping iced coffees. Say what you like, wimpy paper straws don’t work as well as plastic. A multitude of studies shows face masks do little to protect humans from the coronavirus.
Here’s the crux of the matter: When all this is over, will the same hysterical Cassandras currently creating billions of pounds of plastic waste to enact harsh coronavirus social curbs usher in expanded rigid restrictions on our day-to-day lives in the name of fighting the very same “existential” climate threat to which they now so greatly contribute?
You already know the answer. When it comes to progressives seeking power over the lives of others, logic is not part of the equation.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.