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The Science of Masks

While the COVID-19 crisis rages on, the science against and in support of wearing masks accumulates daily. On the one side, proponents argue that masks save lives and stop the spread of the virus. The other side contends that wearing masks is complicated and suggests masks are ineffective and may even be harmful.

Recently, yet another angle has emerged asserting that regardless of whether masks work or not, government shouldn’t mandate that people must wear them, especially by children where the risks of contracting, spreading and exhibiting symptoms from COVID-19 are very low.

CHD is glad to provide dozens of studies/articles/videos we have accumulated, including meta-analyses. And, we will continue to post mask information on this page. (Some items appear under multiple headings depending on their content.)

Articles:

On Masks and COVID-19 by Arthur Firstenberg

Masks Don’t Work: A Review of Science Relevant to COVID-19 Social Policy by Denis G. Rancourt, PhD
Still No Evidence Justifying Mandatory Masks by Todd McGreevy

Masks Masquerading as Science by Kevin McKernan

Masks Work. Really. We’ll Show You How by Or Fleisher, Gabriel Gianordoli, Yuliya Parshina-Kottas, Karthik Patanjali, Miles Peyton and Bedel Sage

Of masks and men: no clear evidence masks are effective in COVID-19

Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era

These 12 Graphs Show Mask Mandates Do Nothing To Stop COVID

Medical Masks

Face Masks Pose Serious Risks To The Healthy by Russell Blaylock, MD

The Risks vs. Benefits of Face Masks- Is There an Agenda? by Alan Palmer, MD

Brain Damage From Masks CANNOT BE REVERSED

5 Questions: Stanford scientists on COVID-19 mask guidelines

Maine’s Rise in COVID-19 Cases Linked to Face Masks

Podcast: Pulmonary Specialist Speaks Out On The Health Risks Of Wearing Masks & The Lies Surrounding COVID-19

Reports:

COVID-19 & Public Health Totalitarianism: Untoward Effects on Individuals, Institutions and Society (Chapter XI is Mask Chapter) by Peter R. Breggin, MD

Adverse Health Effects:

Effect of a surgical mask on six minute walking distance

“Exercise with facemask; Are we handling a devil’s sword?” – A physiological hypothesis

The physiological impact of wearing an N95 mask during hemodialysis as a precaution against SARS in patients with end-stage renal disease

Respiratory consequences of N95-type Mask usage in pregnant healthcare workers-a controlled clinical study

Contamination by respiratory viruses on outer surface of medical masks used by hospital healthcare workers

Masks, false safety and real dangers, Part 1: Friable mask particulate and lung vulnerability

Masks, false safety and real dangers, Part 2: Microbial challenges from masks

Optical microscopic study of surface morphology and filtering efficiency of face masks

Use of surgical face masks to reduce the incidence of the common cold among health care workers in Japan: a randomized controlled trial

Don’t Use N95 Masks for More Than 2 Days, Research Suggests

Investigation of adverse reactions in healthcare personnel working in Level 3 barrier protection PPE to treat COVID-19

Effects of long-duration wearing of N95 respirator and surgical facemask: a pilot study

Video: Pulmonary Specialist Speaks Out On The Health Risks Of Wearing Masks & The Lies Surrounding COVID-19

Impact of respiratory protective devices on respiration: Implications for panic vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic

PSmicrographs: One day old surgical face mask

Risks associated with the use of a mouth-nose-cover (MNC) in children and adolescents

Cloth Masks

A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers

Video: Cloth Masks & COVID-19: Is Two-Layered Cotton Effective in Preventing Spread of Aerosolized Droplets from One Person to Another? By Mayo Clinic Proceedings Featuring Catherine Clase

Rapid Expert Consultation on the Effectiveness of Fabric Masks for the COVID-19 Pandemic (Chapter 6)

Simple Respiratory Protection—Evaluation of the Filtration Performance of Cloth Masks and Common Fabric Materials Against 20–1000 nm Size Particles

Video: COVID-19 Homemade Masks: Are Fabric Masks Just as Effective as Surgical Masks? What Is the Performance of Fabrics Against Spread of Respiratory Infection Through Droplets? By Taher Saif

N95 Masks

Don’t Use N95 Masks for More Than 2 Days, Research Suggests

Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks against influenza: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks in protecting health care workers from acute respiratory infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis

N95 Respirators vs Medical Masks for Preventing Influenza Among Health Care Personnel

The physiological impact of wearing an N95 mask during hemodialysis as a precaution against SARS in patients with end-stage renal disease

Respiratory consequences of N95-type Mask usage in pregnant healthcare workers-a controlled clinical study

Video: Infection Control for COVID-19: Can Masks and Other PPE be Multi-Use? How Do Surgical Masks Compare to N95 Respirators? By Stanford Medicine, Featuring Gloria Hwang

Effects of long-duration wearing of N95 respirator and surgical facemask: a pilot study

 

Masks in Surgical Settings

Is a mask necessary in the operating theatre?

Postoperative wound infections and surgical face masks: A controlled study

Surgical face masks in modern operating rooms—a costly and unnecessary ritual?

The evolution of the surgical mask: filtering efficiency versus effectiveness

Disposable surgical face masks for preventing surgical wound infection in clean surgery

Other Mask Studies

Comprehensive review of mask utility and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic

A rapid systematic review of the efficacy of face masks and respirators against coronaviruses and other respiratory transmissible viruses for the community, healthcare workers and sick patients

Effectiveness of masks and respirators against respiratory infections in healthcare workers: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Efficacy of face mask in preventing respiratory virus transmission: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

To mask or not to mask: Modeling the potential for face mask use by the general public to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic

Could masks curtail the post-lockdown resurgence of COVID-19 in the US?

Comparison of Filtration Efficiency and Pressure Drop in Anti-Yellow Sand Masks, Quarantine Masks, Medical Masks, General Masks, and Handkerchiefs

Comparison of the Filter Efficiency of Medical Nonwoven Fabrics against Three Different Microbe Aerosols

Efficacy of masks and face coverings in controlling outward aerosol particle emission from expiratory activities

Face masks to prevent transmission of influenza virus: A systematic review

Facemasks and similar barriers to prevent respiratory illness such as COVID-19: A rapid systematic review

Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data

Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures

Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses. Part 1 – Face masks, eye protection and person distancing: systematic review and meta-analysis

The use of masks and respirators to prevent transmission of influenza: a systematic review of the scientific evidence

Non-pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza

Effectiveness of Adding a Mask Recommendation to Other Public Health Measures to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Danish Mask Wearers

SARS-CoV-2 Transmission among Marine Recruits during Quarantine

A Model to Explain Statewide Differences in COVID-19 Death Rates

Videos:

Video: Mask Facts

Video: Pulmonary Specialist Speaks Out On The Health Risks Of Wearing Masks & The Lies Surrounding COVID-19

(Videos below are found on Vumedi.com. They are  free to watch but you must sign up.)  

Video: COVID-19 & Mask Myths Debunked: Can N95’s, Surgical and Cloth Masks May Be Dangerous & Are They Effective at Protecting Against the Spread of the Virus? By Richard Oehler

Video: COVID-19 Facemasks: What is the Difference Between Cloth and Surgical Masks? What Types of Respirators Are There? Are There Any Drawbacks of Alternative Respiratory Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)? By Kyle Wu

Video: Face Masks & COVID-19: Does Your Face Mask Protect You or Other People? By Monica Gandhi

Video: How Well Do Face Masks Protect us from COVID-19 Infection? By How Much Is the Risk Reduced if Only One Person Is Wearing a Mask? By Julian W. Tang

Video: Infection Control for COVID-19: Can Masks and Other PPE be Multi-Use? How Do Surgical Masks Compare to N95 Respirators? By Stanford Medicine, Featuring Gloria Hwang

Video: Masks Use During the New Phase of the Pandemic: How Common Is Asymptomatic Infection and How Transmissible is SARS-CoV-2 Infection from Someone Who Has No Symptoms? By UCSF School of Medicine Featuring George Rutherford

The Aftermath

India: Discarded surgical masks are adding to bio-hazard around Goa

New Zealand: Face masks add to pollution woes

Switzerland: Hundreds of face masks fished out of Lake Geneva

North Carolina, USA: No shortage of masks, gloves littering area parking lots, roadsides

Canada: Face Masks: A Danger to Our Planet, Our Children & Ourselves