Medical Science: COVID-19 - Is Your Mask Safe

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Masks. Surgical, two-layer, three ply disposables with protection filtration or cloth. As the need to mask up remains present knowing the materials included in the manufacture of the any mask could be as important as the mask itself.

 

Your mask will keep you from inhaling at least some infected droplets that are too large to get through the gaps, but at the price of inhaling whatever tiny particles are coming from the mask itself.

Some worry that mask components may be the new asbestos, inhaled all day long from a source right in front of your nose.


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Health Canada has issued a warning about blue and gray disposable face masks, which contain an asbestos-like substance associated with “early pulmonary toxicity.” The SNN200642 masks, which are made in China and sold and distributed by a Quebec-based company called Métallifer, had been part of Canada’s public school reopening plan.

The masks contain microscopic graphene particles. Graphene is a strong, very thin material. Some daycare educators had expressed concerns when children complained that they felt they were swallowing cat hair.

A similar disposable mask, known as MC9501, was likewise recalled throughout Canada after 31.1 million had been distributed by government.


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Nearly all face masks increase the daily intake of microplastic fibers. Scientists first discovered microplastics in the lung tissue of some patients who died of lung cancer in the 1990s. Plastic degrades slowly, so once in the lungs it tends to stay there and build up. Some studies have found that the immune system can attack these foreign objects, causing prolonged inflammation that can lead to diseases such as cancer. Reused masks produced more loosened fibers.

The nonwoven material in disposable surgical masks is melt-blown polypropylene plastic, which the masks can be shown to shed when examined under a microscope. Virus adhering to these microparticles can survive for days. The symptoms a surgeon experienced after wearing one such mask for four hours were like those he had had when working with fiberglass.


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Some masks contain fiberglass. One anesthesiologist said she can feel the fiberglass in the disposables and now only wears flimsy nylon masks.

The mask that your child may be forced to wear likely does not meet National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) safety standards. What might it be doing to his little lungs?

 

Jane M. Orient, M.D. obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974. She completed an internal medicine residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital and University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals and then became an Instructor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a staff physician at the Tucson Veterans Administration Hospital. She has been in solo private practice since 1981 and has served as Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) since 1989.


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She is currently president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. She is the author of YOUR Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Healthcare, and the second through fifth editions of Sapira's Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis published by Wolters Kluwer. She authored books for school children, Professor Klugimkopf's Old-Fashioned English Grammar and Professor Klugimkopf's Spelling Method, published by Robinson Books, and coauthored two novels published as Kindle books, Neomorts and Moonshine. 

More than 100 of her papers have been published in the scientific and popular literature on a variety of subjects including risk assessment, natural and technological hazards and non-hazards, and medical economics and ethics. She is the editor of AAPS News, the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Newsletter, and Civil Defense Perspectives, and is the managing editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

If you would like to discuss these issues, contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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