Some face mask manufacturers added graphene coatings to their face masks to “inactivate the virus.” These face masks were worn by millions as dictated by governments and health officials to stop the spread of Covid, or so they said.
“In exchange for [the] unknown level of added protection [from graphene], there is a theoretical risk that breathing through a graphene-coated mask will liberate graphene particles that make it through the other filter layers on the mask and penetrate the lung. If inhaled, the body may not remove these particles rapidly enough to prevent lung damage,” wrote The Conversation.
In September 2020, based on a brief review of the scientific literature and published guidance and reports relating to face coverings, the Environmental Modelling Group (“EMG”) and New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (“NERVTAG”) prepared a report for the UK government. “There is a lack of good evidence relating to the wearing of face coverings, with very little data relating to duration of wearing,” the report said.
On 26 March 2021, the Quebec provincial government removed these masks from schools and day-care centres after Health Canada, Canada’s national public health agency, warned that inhaling the graphene could lead to asbestos-like lung damage. The masks were made in China and sold and distributed by Métallifer, a Quebec-based manufacturer. Around 4.6 million graphene-coated masks were distributed to schools by the government of Quebec although it was unclear how widely the masks were used.
On 2 April 2021 Health Canada urged Canadians not to use face masks that contain graphene or biomass graphene and issued a recall of those masks. The concern was the potential for the tiny particles to be inhaled, which may pose a health risk.