Prevention

Children and the Dangers of Facemasks

Face masks have been a necessity for everyone since the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began. But two studies have pointed out that face masks do more harm than good, especially to children. Both papers focused on the negative effects of high concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) children inhale when wearing masks for prolonged periods.

The first study published June 2021 in JAMA Pediatrics involved a clinical trial in Germany with 45 volunteers from both genders. The volunteers aged between six and 17 years old were made to wear masks. Researchers then measured the levels of CO2 under the children’s masks.

Estimates showed that children forced to wear face coverings while in school do so for an average of 4.5 hours. The researchers discovered that CO2 levels under children’s face masks after just three minutes of being worn exceeded levels deemed unacceptable by the German Environment Agency. They also found that the amount of CO2 inhaled by the child with the lowest CO2 level was three times higher than the agency’s 2,000 parts per million (ppm) limit. Furthermore, the air measured from one seven-year-old child had a CO2 concentration of 25,000 ppm.

The study noted that CO2 building up in the dead-space volume of the masks can lead to hypercapnia or too much CO2 in the bloodstream. It pointed out that “most of the complaints reported by children” such as irritability, headache and reluctance to go to school “can be understood as consequences of elevated [CO2] levels in inhaled air.”

The second study published April 2021 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) looked at 65 papers about face masks. Of these papers, 44 pointed out the significant negative effects of face coverings. Thirty of the 44 studies related to both surgical and N95 masks, while only 10 pertained to face masks made of fabric. Read more…

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