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Revealing the Potential Effects and Risk of Microplastics from Face Mask on Human Health and Environment: A interlink Review on COVID-19 and Particulate Matter (PM2.5)

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The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to the enforcement of stringent measures to prevent the transmission of the severe lung illness it causes. However, there's growing concern about the environmental impact of these measures. Moreover, fine particulate matter, namely PM2.5 that harms lung health, especially after a pandemic, is a crucial contributor to the spread of the virus. In addition, microplastics and nano-plastics are released due to the breakdown of disposed face masks in nature, a process that is still poorly understood because of limited studies. Additionally, the spread of toxins from discarded face masks through air pollutants like PM2.5 and their detrimental effects on the ecosystem, including direct toxicity to human beings, the food chain, aquatic life, and companion animals, are taken into consideration. This review paper investigates analytical techniques and possible approaches to reduce the spread of discarded face masks and the contaminants they carry, while recognising the difficulties in tackling this intricate problem. By comprehending the interplay between face masks, COVID-19, and PM2.5, we may get a deeper knowledge of the repercussions and strive to reduce their detrimental impact on health and the environment by taking educated preventative steps. In conclusion, minimizing face masks' detrimental impact on human health, minimizing environmental pollution, and maintaining public health management depends on recognizing the possible hazards and taking necessary precautions.

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The datasets generated during the current investigation can be made available on request to corresponding authors.


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This work was partially supported by CMU Proactive Researcher Scheme (2023), Chiang Mai University, “Contract No. 933/2566”.


The investigation does not receive any funding from any organization.

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Conceptualization: Sudarshan Singh, Bhupendra G Prajapati; Writing, editing, and reviewing: Dipa K Israni and Jhanvi Soni; Supervision: Bhupendra G Prajapati and Dipa K Israni; Data validation: Bhupendra G Prajapati, Sudarshan Singh, and Dipa K Israni.

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Correspondence to Dipa K. Israni, Sudarshan Singh or Bhupendra G. Prajapati.

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Israni, D.K., Soni, J., Singh, S. et al. Revealing the Potential Effects and Risk of Microplastics from Face Mask on Human Health and Environment: A interlink Review on COVID-19 and Particulate Matter (PM2.5). Water Air Soil Pollut 235, 334 (2024).

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