Masks: A Deeper Look – Excerpts From Various Studies and Articles

Masks: A Deeper Look – Excerpts From Various Studies and Articles

The Mask Mandates Did Nothing. Will Any Lessons Be Learned? (The New York Times)

“We included 12 trials (10 cluster‐RCTs) comparing medical/surgical masks versus no masks to prevent the spread of viral respiratory illness (two trials with healthcare workers and 10 in the community). Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of influenza‐like illness (ILI)/COVID‐19 like illness compared to not wearing masks (risk ratio (RR) 0.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.84 to 1.09; 9 trials, 276,917 participants; moderate‐certainty evidence. Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of laboratory‐confirmed influenza/SARS‐CoV‐2 compared to not wearing masks (RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.42; 6 trials, 13,919 participants; moderate‐certainty evidence). Harms were rarely measured and poorly reported (very low‐certainty evidence).”

Full Article:

“Wearing masks for a prolonged amount of time causes a host of physiologic and psychologic burdens and can decrease work efficiency…
Prolonged use of N95 and surgical masks causes physical adverse effects such as headaches, difficulty breathing, acne, skin breakdown, rashes, and impaired cognition. It also interferes with vision, communication, and thermal equilibrium. Headaches related to prolonged mask use can be attributed to mechanical factors, hypercapnia, and hypoxemia. Tight straps and pressure on superficial facial and cervical nerves are mechanical features causing headaches [1]… Tight fitting masks cause inadequate ventilation and increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) known as hypercapnia. As CO2 is a known respiratory stimulant, a buildup of exhaled CO2 between the mask and face will cause increased lung ventilation and respiratory activity. Symptoms of hypoxemia such as chest discomfort and tachypnea are also noted in healthcare professionals with prolonged mask use. Exhaled CO2 builds up between the mask and face, and increased levels of CO2 cause confusion, impaired cognition, and disorientation [4].”

Full Article: Adverse Effects of Prolonged Mask Use among Healthcare Professionals during COVID-19

“Face masks worn by asymptomatic people are conditionally recommended in severe epidemics or pandemics, to reduce transmission in the community. Although there is no evidence that this is effective in reducing transmission, there is mechanistic plausibility for the potential effectiveness of this measure.”

“OVERALL RESULT OF EVIDENCE ON FACE MASKS… Ten RCTs were included in the meta-analysis, and there was no evidence that face masks are effective in reducing transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”

Full Article: Non-pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza (September 2019)

“In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.”

“Disposable medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are loose-fitting devices that were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids (36). There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure. Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”

“Proper use of face masks is essential because improper use might increase the risk for transmission.

Full Article: Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings— Personal Protective and Environmental Measures

“We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection… In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”

Full Article: Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era (New England Journal of Medicine)

“Honestly, I had not expected PFC’s would be found in a surgical mask, but we have special routine methods in our labs to detect these chemicals easily and can immediately identify them. This is a big issue,” explained Dr. Sedlak.

“It seems this had been deliberately applied as a fluid repellent – it would work to repel the virus in an aerosol droplet format – but PFC on your face, on your nose, on the mucus membranes, or on the eyes is not good.” Along with PFCs, he also detected – besides the PFC crosslinkers – compounds such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde whereas a GCMS chromatogram showed “100s of peaks from other contaminants.”

“…leading scientists are now questioning whether the real risk of exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals from long-term mask wearing is actually higher than the risk of coming into contact with the Sars-CoV-2 virus – especially for children and young adults who are in the low-risk category when it comes to developing severe COVID-19.”

Full Article: Exclusive: Chemical cocktail found in face masks

The Harm Caused by Masks

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