Masks, false safety and real dangers, Part 1:
Friable mask particulate
and lung vulnerability
September 13, 2020.
Completed peer-review and revised, September 24, 2020
Boris Borovoy,
Colleen Huber,
Q Makeeta
Copyright to each article published by is retained by the author(s).
There is no biological history of mass masking until the current era. It is important to consider
possible outcomes of this society-wide experiment. The consequences to the health of
individuals is as yet unknown.
Masked individuals have measurably higher inspiratory flow than non-masked individuals. This
study is of new masks removed from manufacturer packaging, as well as a laundered cloth
mask, examined microscopically. Loose particulate was seen on each type of mask. Also, tight
and loose fibers were seen on each type of mask. If every foreign particle and every fiber in
every facemask is always secure and not detachable by airflow, then there should be no risk of
inhalation of such particles and fibers. However, if even a small portion of mask fibers is
detachable by inspiratory airflow, or if there is debris in mask manufacture or packaging or
handling, then there is the possibility of not only entry of foreign material to the airways, but
also entry to deep lung tissue, and potential pathological consequences of foreign bodies in the
The nose and mouth are the gateways to the lungs for land vertebrates. There is no known
history of a species that has begun to voluntarily or involuntarily obstruct, partially obstruct or
Boris A Borovoy, MPH has a Master in Public Health from Moscow Medical Academy.
Colleen Huber, NMD is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor and Naturopathic Oncologist (FNORI), writing on topics of
masks, COVID-19, cancer and nutrition.
Q Makeeta, DC is a Doctor of Chiropractic.
filter the orifices to their airways and lungs. We have no biological history of such a species or
how they would have adapted to or possibly survived such a novel practice.
However, recently, in mid-2020, throughout the world, in some countries far more than others,
human self-masking has become commonplace, whether due to insistence by governments,
requirement of employers, educational institutions and business-owners, or social pressures in
one’s immediate social circles. The proximal reason behind these reasons is abundant fear and
desire for protection from COVID-19 throughout the world in 2020. People have been either
coerced or otherwise pressured to wear “face coverings,” allegedly for the purpose of “slowing
the spread of COVID-19.” The general public’s response is to use disposable surgical masks, and
a wide variety of cloth masks and other cloth face coverings. In the western hemisphere at
least these facemasks had not been worn outside of certain hospital facilities, not outside of
surgical settings and intensive care units of hospitals.
Prior research has overwhelmingly shown that there is no significant evidence of benefits of
masks, particularly regarding transmission of viral infections, and that there are well-
established risks. Evidence from peer-reviewed clinical studies and meta-analyses on problems
concerning the effectiveness and safety of masks are summarized in this article.
Optimal oxygen intake in humans has been calculated in the absence of any obstruction to the
airways. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has determined that
the optimal range of oxygen in the air for humans is between 19.5 and 23.5%. In previous
times, before the COVID-19 era, OSHA required that any human-occupied airspace where
oxygen measured less than 19.5% to be labelled as “not safe for workers.”
The percentage of
oxygen inside a masked airspace generally measures 17.4% within several seconds of wearing.
It has been observed that maximal voluntary ventilation and maximal inspiratory pressure
increase during lower availability of oxygen at ascent in altitude,
as well as for those who live
at high altitude.
Because oxygen is so essential to life, and in adequate amounts, humans and
animals have developed the ability to sense changes in oxygen concentration, and to adapt to
such challenges quickly. The medulla oblongata and carotid bodies are sensitive to such
changes. Both lower ambient oxygen and increased ambient carbon dioxide stimulates
ventilation, as the body quickly and steadfastly attempts to acquire more oxygen.
As a
compensatory mechanism, inspiratory flow is measurably higher in mask-wearers than in
The question then arises: If inspiratory flow is increased over normal while wearing a mask, is
every fiber attached to one’s facemask secure enough not to be inhaled into the lungs of the
mask-wearer? Is it good enough for a majority of these fibers to be secure? Or must every part
of every mask fiber of every mask be secure at all times?
Materials Used in Masks
Inhaled cotton fibers have been shown to cause subpleural ground glass opacities at the surface
of the visceral pleura, as well as centrilobular and peribronchovascular interstitial thickening, as
well as fibrous thickening of peribronchiolar interstitium. It was found by spectral analysis by
infrared spectrophotometry that the foreign bodies in the lungs had an identical pattern to that
of cellulose, which must have come from the inhaled cotton fibers.
Cotton and even silk may
contribute to COPD in textile workers. Byssinosis is a pulmonary syndrome related to textile
work. When textile workers were exposed to organic dusts from textiles in the workplace, both
reversible and irreversible pulmonary conditions, such as asthma and COPD developed.
should be remembered that unmasked textile workers would not have such high inspiratory
flow as masked individuals.
Therefore, there is even more need that the fibers, debris and other particulate attached to
cloth masks would stay entirely intact; every fiber, and every part of every fiber, and
throughout every breath, at all times, even down to the size of nanometers.
Disposable surgical face masks are made of synthetic fibers, including polymers such as
polypropylene, polyurethane, polyacrylonitrile, polystyrene, polycarbonate, polyethylene or
polyester. There is an inner layer of soft fibers and a middle layer, which is a melt-blown filter,
as well as a water-resistant outer layer of nonwoven fibers.
This study shows FT-IR spectra of
the degrading fibers of disposable masks. It found that disposable face masks “could be
emerging as a new source of microplastic fibers, as they can degrade/fragment or break down
into smaller size/pieces . . . .
Research on synthetic fibers has shown a correlation between the inhalation of synthetic fibers
and various bronchopulmonary diseases, such as asthma, alveolitis, chronic bronchitis,
bronchiectasis, fibrosis, spontaneous pneumothorax and chronic pneumonia. Cellular
proliferation made up of histiocytes and fibroblasts were found in the lungs of those exposed to
synthetic fibers in ambient air. Focal lesions in the lungs showed granulomas and collagen
fibers containing both fine dust and long fibers. Some of the lung illnesses from this exposure
could be reversed, while others had already proceeded to pulmonary fibrosis.
Bioburden of masks has also been established. This study found bioburden on each type of
mask studied, even after first use in a surgical environment. Speaking while wearing masks
resulted in a significantly higher bioburden cultured from the face side of a mask.
Possible Risk of Pulmonary Fibrosis
Pulmonary fibrosis is among the worst diseases that can be suffered or witnessed. It kills
exceedingly slowly, by ever-thickening matrix formation, a kind of scar tissue, obstructing the
alveoli and reducing their air exchange. The illness worsens slowly over time, and suffocates
the victim very gradually. Nothing is available to the sufferer from conventional medicine.
Neither medication nor radiation can undo the damage of the fibrous matrix laid down in the
lungs’ tissue. Similarly, surgery is not available to eliminate the insidious, suffocating mesh that
painstakingly takes the life of the unfortunate patient. Neither is any known cure available in
the realm of natural or alternative medicine. Neither nutrient, herb, nor any other known
treatment can even reduce the fibrogenesis, let alone eliminate it. The 5-year survival rate is
only 20%.
The only remedy against this scourge is diligent prevention of small and
microscopic inhaled foreign bodies.
Inhaled particles, particularly nanoparticles, can begin the process of pulmonary fibrosis by
forming free radicals such as superoxide anions. The resulting oxidative stress promotes
inflammatory responses and surface reactivity.
The pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary
fibrosis begins when Type 2 alveoli are injured and epithelia is not fully healed. Interstitial
fibroblasts differentiate into myofibroblasts, which gather in fibrotic foci and form fibers with
contractile properties.
This is followed by synthesis and deposit of extracellular matrix, which
seems to be key in suffocating the air exchange of alveoli.
Particles of nanometer to micrometer size have been implicated as causative agents in
pulmonary fibrosis.
Airborne inhaled nano-size particles are especially dangerous for the
lungs, but are small enough to undergo transcytosis across epithelial and endothelial cells to
enter blood and lymph, reaching the cardiovascular system, spleen, bone marrow, and have
been observed to travel along axons and dendrites of the central nervous system and ganglia, a
phenomenon that has been known for decades.
Inhaled particles of 20 nm have deposited, more than other sizes of nano-particles, in the
alveolar region, during nose-breathing of a person at rest.
We examined microscopically the concave face side of a variety of new masks, taken directly
out of their packaging from the manufacturer, not yet worn. However, the cloth mask below
was worn for one day, and then laundered, and never worn again.
The following are the types of masks and the macroscopic view of the face side of each: