A recently published study has found that wearing an N95 mask is, far from being safe, a potential health risk.
Published in April and quietly shared by the National Institutes of Health, the study from researchers at Jeonbuk National University in South Korea found that disposable masks, including medical-grade N95 masks, released eight times the recommended safety limit for toxic volatile organic compounds (TVOCs).
According to the American Lung Association, breathing TVOCs “can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, can cause difficulty breathing and nausea, and can damage the central nervous system and other organs.” Some TVOCs can even cause cancer.
What other types of products release TVOCs? Paint, caulks, cleaners/disinfectants, pesticides, and even tobacco smoke.
Here’s the huge catch: The researchers discovered that TVOC levels were 14 times lower in cloth masks, suggesting therefore that despite not being medical-grade, cloth masks are safer to wear than N95 masks.
However, speaking with the Daily Mail, Dr. Stuart Fischer warned against reaching any major conclusions from the study, though he did endorse the notion that there are indeed drawbacks to mask-wearing.
“There seems to be diminishing returns on the need for masks,” he said.
Yet an increasing number of officials and pundits are now calling for the return of mask mandates in response to the emergence of a new COVID variant.
— BizPac Review (@BIZPACReview) August 6, 2023
Even Trump-era Surgeon General Jerome Adams has jumped on the bandwagon.
“Just now: Heard the @AmericanAir gate agents talking about the Covid surge and discussing how to stay safe, because Bryson actually had a heart attack a few years ago. I offered him a new KN95 from my stash. God has a way of putting you where you’re needed!” he tweeted last week.
“Also, even though the other agents chose not to wear masks, they all supported Bryson (and me) wearing ours. One of the agents mentioned her mother having stage four cancer and said she was going to get her N95 mask when she was on break. That’s how we come together vs COVID-19,” he added.
The tweets prompted pushback, including from conservative commentator Dan Bongino, who tweeted, “No thanks. Your track record speaks for itself.”
Adams immediately clapped back.
“I don’t get the tweet or the hate, Don. ‘No thanks’ to a black man who had an early heart attack taking measures he feels will protect himself? No thanks to two people choosing to wear a mask (maybe ‘you do decide what’s best for you, and leave me alone,’ was all a farce?),” he responded.
Former Surgeon General Jerome Adams dragged for pushing face masks — again!t.co/TZSPwXy6J6
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) August 24, 2023
All this comes amid growing fears and speculation that widespread mask mandates and lockdowns are set to soon return.
The new lockdowns/mandates theory stems from remarks made by so-called “conspiracy theorist” Alex Jones earlier this month.
On the 18th, to be exact, Jones claimed he knew a “high level manager” at the Transportation Security Agency and that said manager had told him airport mask mandates will be back in effect by mid-September.
Likewise, “full COVID protocols,” including potential lockdowns, will return by December, according to Jones.
So-called “fact-checkers” have dismissed the claim as a conspiracy theory.
“A TSA spokesperson denied Jones’ claims, noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — not TSA — is the federal agency responsible for transportation mask requirements. … The CDC similarly said the claims were untrue,” FactCheck.org reported.
Yet mask mandates and lockdowns are in fact returning, albeit elsewhere.
“As doctors warn coronavirus is on the rise, some Northern California hospitals are bringing back an old COVID-19 requirement: mask mandates,” CBS News notes.
“Hollywood studio Lionsgate has implemented a mask mandate on certain floors of its Santa Monica, California, offices after several employees tested positive for the virus. … In Atlanta, Morris Brown College announced a two-week mask requirement as well as a ban on large gatherings,” Spectrum News adds.
— BizPac Review (@BIZPACReview) August 25, 2023
Fischer hopes that, if mask mandates and lockdowns do return in one fashion or another, this time officials don’t go overboard like they did last time.
“I think following the general recommendations might be helpful, but it’s not clear yet if we need the sweeping edicts of three years ago. Extreme fears about the lethality of Covid may have led to decisions that were counterproductive,” he said.
“Covid won’t be going away for a long time, if ever. We desperately need policies that do not fracture our society while providing minimal protection,” he added.
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