How Dangerous Are Masks for Children? – Brownstone Institute

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Our public health agencies such as the CDC and NIH, and television medical experts seem unable to address key health messages that could have a dramatic effect in reducing risk of severe sequelae in higher-risk populations such as the minority and African-American population to the scourge of SARS-CoV-2. 

These agencies and media echo chambers squandered many opportunities to inform the public on simple yet very effective messaging (vitamin D supplementation, obesity control, early treatment etc.) that could have reduced morbidity and saved lives. They continue to. Not just for Covid-19, but for many other illnesses.  

For example, obesity emerged as a potent super-loaded risk factor behind age in the harmful sequelae and a human target for SARS-CoV-2 in most studies, in addition to being elderly, frail and having comorbid conditions. Being younger with comorbid conditions also placed one at risk. 

We knew this data very early on, maybe one month post-March 2020 yet the CDC etc. failed to either read the data, understand the data, or act on the data. It would have behooved our agencies to have addressed these risks in large-scale education programs for the populace and especially by calling for a reduction in body weight and particularly for the minority sub-groups (African-Americans). 

In a similar light, studies showed that vitamin D supplementation for African-Americans has been associated with a lowered risk of severe disease and mortality from SARS-CoV-2. So the evidence was there; just the action by health agencies was absent. 

Early ambulatory outpatient treatment with successful combination and sequenced antiviral agents, corticosteroids, and anti-clotting therapeutics should be used (and should have been used) widely to help the people at risk. The African-American community is aware that “Covid (is) a killer for the obese: like pouring gasoline on top of a fire.” 

Unfortunately, more than two years into the pandemic, the manifest issue of public health education and sound policy decisions remain absent and aloof, given the erratic and confusing responses from the health and governing officials. 

Now we face another looming concern: the potential danger of the chlorine, polyester, and microplastic components of the face masks (surgical principally but any of the mass-produced masks) that have become part of our daily lives due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Emergent reports, albeit nascent and anecdotal but nevertheless vitally important (and will be clarified and defined in time) regarding the manufacture of masks, where, “many of them (face masks) are made of polyester, so you have a microplastic problem…many of the face masks would contain polyester with chlorine compounds…if I have the mask in front of my face, then of course I inhale the microplastic directly and these substances are much more toxic than if you swallow them, as they get directly into the nervous system.” 

A very recent 2022 British publication (Jenner et al. Detection of microplastics in human lung tissue using μFTIR spectroscopy) focused on polypropylene that is a component of the face masks and reported that such “microplastics were identified in all regions of the human lungs using μFTIR analysis.” Furthermore, “polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalate fibres were the most abundant.” Researchers concluded that inhalation was “a route of MP exposure.” And that this study “is the first to report MPs within human lung tissue samples, using μFTIR spectroscopy.”

There were also early reports of toxic mold, fungi, and bacteria that can pose a significant threat to the immune system by potentially weakening it. Of particular concern to us is the recent report of breathing in synthetic fibers in the face masks. This is of serious concern. 

“Loose particulate was seen on each type of mask. Also, tight and loose fibers were seen on each type of mask. If every foreign particle and every fiber in every facemask is always secure and not detachable by airflow, then there should be no risk of inhalation of such particles and fibers. However, if even a small portion of mask fibers is detachable by inspiratory airflow, or if there is debris in mask manufacture or packaging or handling, then there is the possibility of not only entry of foreign material to the airways, but also entry to deep lung tissue, and potential pathological consequences of foreign bodies in the lungs.” 

Reports are that “Graphene is a strong, very thin material that is used in fabrication, but it can be harmful to lungs when inhaled and can cause long-term health problems.” 

There is a risk of potential inflammatory/fibrotic lung diseases because we are inhaling these materials in the masks now for two years with more duration to come and no end in sight. These substances might also be highly carcinogenic. Not just for us as adults but we must be very concerned about the risks especially to our children since they depend on us as mentors and guides for their decision-making. 

These blue surgical masks pervade our lives. They remain ubiquitous. “Health Canada issued a warning about blue and gray disposable face masks, which contain an asbestos-like substance associated with “early pulmonary toxicity.” The warning is specific to potentially toxic masks distributed within schools and daycares across Quebec. Health Canada (and full praise to them)….“discovered during a preliminary risk assessment that the masks contain microscopic graphene particles that, when inhaled, could cause severe lung damage.” 

Reports are and were that “for a while now, some daycare educators had expressed suspicion about the masks, which were causing children to feel as though they were swallowing cat hair while wearing them. We now know that instead of cat hair, children were inhaling the equivalent of asbestos all day long.”It appears to be a substance known as graphene. 

What is indeed alarming is that “the SNN200642 masks that were being used all across Canada in school classrooms had never been tested for safety or effectiveness.” This is indeed a catastrophic failure by the regulators as these surgical face masks are linked to early pulmonary toxicity. 

What is indeed frightening is that all of these blue and similar surgical face masks cause plastic fiber inhalation and the outcomes could be devastating, especially to our children. Yet it has pervaded and persons making Covid policy decisions do not seem to care about the harmful implications. These face mask plastics will degrade very slowly over time and as such, in the lungs it may remain and just build up to dangerous levels. 

We do not even know what is an ‘acceptable’ level, for there should be none. There is debate that the immune system can attack such foreign objects, thus driving prolonged inflammation which may lead to diseases such as cancer. And reused masks which pervade our daily lives, and based on our personal experiences, do produce more loosened fibers. 

Dr. Richard Urso showed us just how dangerous these are by putting them under a microscope, revealing the melt-blown polypropylene plastic. Some masks even contain fiberglass and this is very dangerous as we know to inhale. We as parents make these decisions; we have to step back and question many of these decisions we are making that seem suboptimal. If it does not seem right, then you have to push back and question and demand the science, demand the data from these seemingly untethered experts. 

We certainly did not get (across the last two years) and are not presently getting the due diligence and protection from public health experts, the relevant health agencies, and policy makers that we need. 

Moreover, the mass media seems incapable of doing the investigative type of journalism to fully inform the populace on what the public needs to know. We close by reiterating the warning in the JAMA publication that “Face masks should not be worn by healthy individuals to protect themselves from acquiring respiratory infection because there is no evidence to suggest that face masks worn by healthy individuals are effective in preventing people from becoming ill.” 

Every act has a consequence, and there is always risk. It is therefore imperative to weigh the consequences before embarking on a specific course of action. These are risk management decisions especially for parents and not because a Dr. Fauci type tells you to do something means that it is accurate or necessary. Just consider the nonsense we heard about double masking where he said use them one day only to then retract on another day

Children come with a potent innate immune system that works tremendously well. At the same time and similarly, their immune systems are still being developed, and we have forced lockdowns, school closures, and masking on a developing child. We have no prior experience on the subsequent outcomes pertaining to children’s development, health, and well-being. 

We may be faced with catastrophic consequences of what we did to our children over the last two years of unsound Covid restrictive policies, and allowed government technocrats to force these upon them. These are matters too important to nonchalantly disregard.

  • Dr. Paul Alexander is an epidemiologist focusing on clinical epidemiology, evidence-based medicine, and research methodology. He has a bachelor’s in epidemiology from McMaster University, and a master’s degree from Oxford University. He earned his PhD from McMaster’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact. Paul is a former WHO Consultant and Senior Advisor to US Department of HHS in 2020 for the COVID-19 response.

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