Release of disposable mask in environment
Angrui Jiang*; Kinjal J. Shah; Ting Zhang; Jingfan Qi; Changrong Zhao
College of Urban Construction, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing, 211800, China
A generation of microplastics caused by improper disposal of disposable masks has become an environmental issue that cannot be ignored. To explore the degradation mechanisms of masks and the release of microplastics under different environmental conditions, the masks are placed in 4 common environments. After 30 days of weathering, the total amount and release kinetics of microplastics released from different layers of the mask were studied. The chemical properties and mechanical properties of the mask were also discussed. The results showed that the mask released 25141±3543 particles/ mask in soil, which is much higher than the river water and seawater. All samples accord with the release rate of microplastics from fast to slow. Experiments show that the middle layer of the mask releases higher than the other layers, and the release amount in the soil was the highest. And the tensile capacity of the mask is negatively correlated with its ability to release microplastics in the following order, which are soil > seawater > river > air > new masks.