Surgical personnel are trained to never touch any part of a mask, except the loops and the nose bridge. Otherwise, the mask is considered useless and is to be replaced. Surgical personnel are strictly trained not to touch their masks otherwise. However, the general public may be seen touching various parts of their masks. Even the masks just removed from manufacturer packaging have been shown in the above photos to contain particulate and fiber that would not be optimal to inhale.
Both cotton and polymer clothing have been well-tolerated without pathology when covering any other part of the body, except over the only entry points/gateway to the respiratory system. Inhalation risks, such as the constant ventilation of the respiratory process, increased by the greater effort to attempt to fulfill bodily oxygen needs, with mostly and closely covered orifices are of great concern for those who would want to protect pulmonary health, without inhalation of unwanted particulate.When partial airway obstruction, i.e. masking, is added, deeper and more forceful breathing occurs. When this phenomenon is combined with the particles found herein on microscopic examination of the face side of newly unpackaged, never worn masks, there can arise the risk of a dangerous level of foreign material entering lung tissue. Furthermore, worn masks can only either lose these particles to lodge in the lungs of the wearer, or they would accumulate during use, to the burden(both biological and debris)of non-mask material carried on the inside of the mask.
Further concerns of macrophage response and other immune and inflammatory and fibroblast response to such inhaled particles specifically from facemasks should be the subject of more research.
If widespread masking continues, then the potential for inhaling mask fibers and environmental and biological debris continues on a daily basis for hundreds of millions of people. This should be alarming for physicians and epidemiologists knowledgeable in occupational hazards.