Scientists have found evidence that some face masks that are on sale and being used by members of the general public are laced with toxic chemicals. Preliminary tests have revealed traces of a variety of compounds which are heavily restricted for both health and environmental reasons.
This includes formaldehyde, a chemical known to cause watery eyes; a burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; wheezing; and nausea.
Experts are concerned that the presence of these chemicals in masks which are being worn for prolonged periods of time could cause unintended health issues.
Evidence obtained by Ecotextile News and shared with MailOnline reveals that although face masks should meet specific standards, not all do. Masks have been mandated in much of the world as they are a highly effective way of preventing transmission of coronavirus particles.
But face coverings designed for use by the general public are not regulated and fail to meet the same standards as medical grade PPE. Professor Michael Braungart, director at the Hamburg Environmental Institute, conducted tests on masks which had caused people to break out in rashes.
‘What we are breathing through our mouth and nose is actually hazardous waste,’ Professor Braungart said.