Fact Check: Study Does NOT Reveal Most People's Lungs Now 'Riddled With Microplastics' From Disposable Masks

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Study Does NOT Reveal Most People's Lungs Now 'Riddled With Microplastics' From Disposable Masks Not To Blame

Does a study reveal that disposable face masks are the cause of the high levels of microplastics found in human lungs? No, that's not true: Contrary to a headline about the study, the study never mentions disposable masks as a cause of the microplastics detected in human lung samples.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Instagram on May 15, 2023. It read:

Study Reveals MOST People's Lungs Now Riddled With Microplastics Found in Disposable Masks

This is what the post looked on Instagram at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2023-05-16 at 11.37.00 AM.png

(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Wed May 17 14:12:33 2023 UTC)

The post is a screenshot of an article published on The People's Voice website. The actual study referenced in the headline was published in the United Kingdom in July 2022 in the journal Science of The Total Environment and titled, "Detection of microplastics in human lung tissue using μFTIR spectroscopy."

Disposable face masks, the use of which was encouraged during the COVID-19 pandemic, were not cited anywhere in the study.

The study noted that microplastics (MP) are "present in all environmental compartments; from marine and freshwater bodies ... to soil ... food, drinking water ... and air ... Consequently, there is an increasing concern regarding the hazards associated with MP ingestion, dermal contact, and inhalation."

Lead Stories has previously debunked claims that a study proved wearing masks cause stillbirths, testicular dysfunction and cognitive decline, that a "gold standard" scientific trial proved N95 and surgical masks are ineffective in preventing COVID transmission and that a study did find bacteria and fungi on face masks -- but they're not "petri dishes for dangerous pathogens to fester."

Other Lead Stories articles on claims regarding coronavirus can be found here and on claims regarding COVID-19, here.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion