Study: Is mask that covers mouth and nose free from undesirable side effects and hazards?
A peer-reviewed study published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) in the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) last week and entitled Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards? concludes that "extended mask-wearing by the general population could lead to relevant effects and consequences in many medical fields."
"Many countries introduced the requirement to wear masks in public spaces for containing SARS-CoV-2 making it commonplace in 2020," the report says. "Up until now, there has been no comprehensive investigation as to the adverse health effects masks can cause.
"The aim was to find, test, evaluate and compile scientifically proven related side effects of wearing masks.
"For a quantitative evaluation, 44 mostly experimental studies were referenced, and for a substantive evaluation, 65 publications were found. The literature revealed relevant adverse effects of masks in numerous disciplines.
"In this paper, we refer to the psychological and physical deterioration as well as multiple symptoms described because of their consistent, recurrent and uniform presentation from different disciplines as a Mask-Induced Exhaustion Syndrome (MIES). We objectified evaluation evidenced changes in respiratory physiology of mask wearers with significant correlation of O2 drop and fatigue (p < 0.05), a clustered co-occurrence of respiratory impairment and O2 drop (67%), N95 mask and CO2 rise (82%), N95 mask and O2 drop (72%), N95 mask and headache (60%), respiratory impairment and temperature rise (88%), but also temperature rise and moisture (100%) under the masks.
"Extended mask-wearing by the general population could lead to relevant effects and consequences in many medical fields."
The study says: "Although there seems to be a consensus among the decision makers who have introduced mandatory masks that medical exemptions are warranted, it is ultimately the responsibility of individual clinicians to weigh up when to recommend exemption from mandatory masks. Physicians are in a conflict of interest concerning this matter. On the one hand, doctors have a leading role in supporting the authorities in the fight against a pandemic. On the other hand, doctors must, in accordance with the medical ethos, protect the interests, welfare and rights of their patient’s third parties with the necessary care and in accordance with the recognized state of medical knowledge."
Effects of mask-wearing examined in the study include increase in breathing resistance, increase in blood carbon, dioxide decrease in blood oxygen saturation, increase in heart rate, decrease in cardiopulmonary capacity, feeling of exhaustion, increase in respiratory rate, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, feeling of dampness and heat, drowsiness (qualitative neurological deficits), decrease in empathy perception, impaired skin barrier function with acne, itching and skin lesions.
"It can be deduced from the results that the effects described in healthy people are all more pronounced in sick people, since their compensatory mechanisms, depending on the severity of the illness, are reduced or even exhausted."