Featured Image

(LifeSiteNews) – As some institutions in the United States begin to reimpose COVID-19 mask mandates, a new study suggests that the types of masks billed as most effective may actually contain dangerous and potentially even cancer-inducing chemicals.

The Daily Mail reports that according to a study by researchers from South Korea’s Jeonbuk National University, published in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety and on the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) website, KFAD and KF94 disposable masks release eight times the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommended safety limit of toxic volatile organic compounds (TVOCs).

TVOCs are linked to headaches, breathing difficulty, and nausea, and with sufficiently-prolonged exposure even nerve system and liver damage as well as cancer.

KFAD and KF94 masks are the dominant equivalent of KN95s in South Korea, filtering out just one percent fewer particles than the surgical masks preferred in the United States, which raises the possibility of the same masks carrying the same danger. All three are made from polypropylene.

The NIH website contains a disclaimer that it does not necessarily endorse studies it publishes, and New York internal medicine physician Dr. Stuart Fischer cautioned that firm conclusions would be premature, but said “there seems to be diminishing returns on the need for masks,” and it was “indeed possible that certain masks have side effects, just as certain helpful medications (anti-histamines, psychotropic drugs, antibiotics) have side effects.”

“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,” Fischer said. “Extreme fears about the lethality of Covid may have led to decisions that were counterproductive…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.”

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government recommended wearing face coverings in the presence of others, advice that many states and localities used to impose mask mandates on a wide range of public gatherings. But evidence has long since shown that masking was largely ineffective at limiting the spread of the virus.

Among that evidence is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC’s) September 2020 admission that masks cannot be counted on to keep out COVID when spending 15 minutes or longer within six feet of someone, and a May 2020 study published by the peer-reviewed CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases that “did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.”

In May 2021, another study found that, though mandates were largely followed, that usage did not yield the expected benefits. “Mask mandates and use (were) not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among U.S. states” from March 2020 to March 2021. In fact, the researchers found the results to be a net negative, with masks increasing “dehydration … headaches and sweating and decreas[ing] cognitive precision,” and interfering with communication, as well as impairing social learning among children. More than 170 studies have found that masks have been ineffective at stopping COVID while instead being harmful, especially to children.

N95 masks have long been touted as the most ideal protection, despite most mask mandates typically not distinguishing between them and simple cloth coverings. Writing for the Brownstone Institute, however, Megan Mansell explains that COVID virus particles are “far smaller than the apparatus is approved or designed to capture,” and even against a hypothetical perfect capture rate of 95%, “the 5% percent never captured is still a plentiful enough potential exposure to infectious matter to result in infection.”

In recent days, some schools, hospitals, and businesses have resumed mask mandates, citing rising cases from the EG.5 COVID variant.