RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Face coverings are supposed to control the spread of COVID-19, but there’s a new conspiracy about masks being used to control people with radio waves.

The fallacy about disposable, surgical type masks has exploded on social media, based on no science whatsoever.

Here’s the myth: Disposable face masks contain a 5G antenna used by the government to track and control people with radio waves that will eventually infect your brain with cancer.

It’s all over the internet. People spreading frantic alerts about disposable masks and 5G, warning folks not to wear them and to throw them out if they have them.

CBS-17 has tracked the myth back to what appears to be its point of origin. It’s a viral video where a woman cuts open a face mask to reveal the so-called 5G antenna.

In the video, a woman can see holding a disposable mask by its ear loops while saying, “They’re giving everybody these masks at casinos and everywhere else. I bought five of them the other day and this is how they plan on killing us.”

She then cuts the mask open and removes a thin white plastic strip saying, “They’re putting a 5G wire inside these masks. I just cut it out.”

CBS 17 Consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia took apart an identical mask to see what’s really inside.

It was a piece of steel wire, the width of a strand of human hair encased in plastic, similar to twist ties that come with some plastic bags.

A patent shows the design of those kinds of masks goes back to the 1970s — long before smart phones with 1G, 3G or any other kind of wireless downloading system ever existed.

The patent says the plastic-wrapped wire is used to help conform the mask to the nose bridge to make it fit better and less likely to leak.

The myth of the mask antenna is a twist on a story CBS 17 debunked in April, when claims were made that 5G was creating the COVID-19 virus and spreading it electronically.

COVID-19 is caused by a virus and electronic waves don’t create biological viruses.

The 5G protocol and its predecessor 4G have long been the target of conspiracy theorists who claim a connection between the systems and various biological illnesses.

So, don’t worry about that mask. It doesn’t contain a 5G wire and you can’t download anything with it or use it to make a call.

The only thing those masks are good for is helping to protect people from the spread of COVID-19.