Gainesville parents in Florida concerned about the harm caused to their children wearing face masks all day at school in 90 °F weather sent out six masks—five that were worn by children ages 6 to 11 for five to eight hours at school, and one worn by an adult—to be analyzed for contaminants at the University of Florida's Mass Spectrometry Research and Education Center.
Of the six masks, three were surgical, two cotton, and a poly gaiter. Masks that have not been worn and a t-shirt worn at school acted as the control samples.
Five of the masks were found to be contaminated with parasites, fungi, and bacteria, according to Rational Ground. Only one mask was found to contain a virus that can cause a fatal systemic disease in cattle and deer. Other less harmful pathogens that can cause ulcers, acne, and strep throat were also detected.
None of the controls were contaminated with pathogens, while "samples from the front top and bottom of the t-shirt found proteins that are commonly found in skin and hair, along with some commonly found in soil."