Newest Coronavirus Information
FRIDAY, April 1, 2022 (HealthDay Information)
Reassuring new analysis finds that almost all face masks utilized by folks through the pandemic do not have excessive ranges of chemical compounds known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The chemicals, which have been linked to quite a few well being harms, are utilized in many merchandise to repel fluids, however there’s been little analysis into their presence in face masks.
That is a possible concern as a result of folks have been carrying face masks for prolonged durations of time through the pandemic, which may probably expose them to PFAS by inhalation, pores and skin publicity or unintentional ingestion, the examine authors famous.
Additionally, used masks find yourself in landfills, the place the PFAS may leach out into the atmosphere, in keeping with researcher Ivan Titaley at Oregon State College, in Corvallis, and colleagues.
To evaluate the dangers, the investigators measured PFAS in 9 forms of face masks: one surgical, one N95, six reusable material masks, and a heat-resistant cloth masks marketed to firefighters.
The surgical and N95 masks had the bottom ranges of PFAS, whereas the firefighting masks had the very best, the examine authors mentioned in a information launch from the American Chemical Society.
The researchers additionally used earlier animal research to estimate the dose of PFAS that would trigger well being issues in folks from continual publicity. They concluded that common use of the surgical, N95 and material masks wouldn’t pose such a threat.
The upper PFAS ranges within the firefighter masks exceeded the dose thought-about secure, however solely when worn for a full day (10 hours) at excessive exercise ranges, akin to exercising or working in ways in which increase wearers’ breathing charges, the findings confirmed.
Within the subsequent section of the examine, the researchers examined the environmental affect of PFAS from surgical and N95 masks, which account for 99% of masks in landfills. Even when everybody in america over age 5 threw away one masks per day (90 billion masks per 12 months), masks can be solely a minor supply of PFAS in landfill leaching and family water, in keeping with the report revealed March 30 within the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters.
The findings ought to encourage folks to maintain carrying face masks through the pandemic, the authors concluded.
For extra on PFAS, go to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
SOURCE: Environmental Science & Expertise Letters, information launch, March 30, 2022
By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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