Mask Mythbusting

Do Masks Work?

Fact check: Ear loop masks — even homemade cloth masks — offer protection against COVID-19

While ear loop and cloth face masks do not protect the wearer from contracting COVID-19, they do protect against spread to others, which is key for stopping the spread.

Fact check: Masks are effective against COVID-19; OSHA doesn’t say they offer no protection

It is true that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to keep their environment’s air at 19.5% oxygen or higher. But wearing face masks will not cause serious health effects, and they prevent the wearer from spreading the virus to others.

Fact check: No, N95 filters are not too large to stop COVID-19 particles

The COVID-19 virus alone is smaller than the N95 filter size. But the virus travels attached to larger particles consistently caught by the filter, and regardless of size, the erratic motion of particles — and the electrostatic attraction generated by the mask — means viruses get consistently caught, too.

Fact check: Early research shows fabric could neutralize coronaviruses

Initial research — not yet peer-reviewed or FDA-approved — found electroceutical fabric is able to neutralize the virus after a minute of contact with the electrical field generated by the fabric.

Are There Dangers?

Fact check: Wearing a face mask will not cause hypoxia, hypoxemia or hypercapnia

There is no evidence that the general public will experience oxygen reduction significant enough to result in hypoxemia. Carbon dioxide can build up in face masks, but is unlikely that wearing a mask will cause hypercapnia, according to the CDC. Many doctors and nurses have taken to social media to prove this is not the case, by wearing a mask and showing that there oxygen levels do not change on their machines.

Fact check: Face masks do not weaken the immune system

There is no evidence this is true. Risks associated with wearing face masks only apply to a very select few in the general population.

Fact check: Face masks can be unsafe for children under 2, but not for most adults

Young children should not wear face masks. But it’s false that all mask-wearers will suffer from hypoxia.

Face Mask Rules and Recommendations 

Fact check: ADA does not provide blanket exemption from face mask requirements

The Americans with Disabilities Act does not allow anyone, disabled or otherwise, to ignore mask requirements without other precautions being taken.

The CDC said recently that if all Americans wear masks, we could have the virus under control by September, which is why it is incredibly important that you do so whenever you need to leave your home for essentials.

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