Scientists have found toxic chemicals in preliminary analysis of face masks.
These toxic substances found on face masks also involve carcinogens, allergens and controlled substances. Masks are used by general public these days mandated by governments in order to prevent Covid-19 infection. However, experts are concerned that toxic chemicals in face masks can cause unintended health issues.
Before pandemic, China was the leading mask manufacturer of the world and solidified this position amid the outbreak of pandemic. It makes 85% of all masks.
Over 70,000 new companies registered to manufacture and sell face masks in China in 2020. High demand of masks lead concerns that masks are being made recklessly.
Preliminary analysis revealed that these masks are laced with toxic chemicals which are restricted for both environmental and health reasons.
These substances include formaldehyde that causes a burning sensation in eyes and nose, watery eyes, nausea, wheezing and coughing.
Director at the Hamburg Environmental Institute, Michael Braungart, conducted tests on masks that caused people to have rashes.
‘What we are breathing through our mouth and nose is actually hazardous waste,’ Professor Braungart said.
These used masks were found to contain formaldehyde and other chemicals.
Formaldehyde is the chemical which gives the ‘clean’ smell when a new pack of masks is opened. He also found aniline, a known carcinogen.
‘We found formaldehyde and even aniline and noticed that unknown artificial fragrances were being applied to cover any unpleasant chemical smells from the mask,” he said.
“In the case of the blue-coloured surgical masks, we found cobalt – which can be used as a blue dye.”
‘All in all, we have a chemical cocktail in front of our nose and mouth that has never been tested for either toxicity or any long-term effects on health,’ he said.