Wearing masks for protection against Covid-19 is unlikely to cause CO2 toxicity in the body, according to research released this week contradicting claims that link masks to carbon dioxide poisoning.
The study comes at a time when mask wearing has become mandatory in most countries worldwide as a precaution against the further spread of the deadly coronavirus.
However, while many people believe the measure is costing them their health, researchers are claiming the opposite.
The study, published in the “Annals of the American Thoracic Society”, found the effects of mask wearing to be minimal “at most, even in people with very severe lung impairment”.
Researchers examined issues of changes in oxygen or carbon dioxide levels in healthy individuals and in those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) before and while using surgical masks.
“Dyspnea, the feeling of shortness of breath, felt with masks by some is not synonymous of alterations in gas exchange. It likely occurs from the restriction of airflow with the mask in particular when higher ventilation is needed (on exertion),” said Michael Campos, study author from the University of Miami.
“If you’re walking briskly up an incline, for example, you may experience feelings of breathlessness,” Campos added.
A tight mask can also increase the feeling of breathlessness.
Study researchers did again stress the importance of wearing a face mask to prevent Covid-19 infection.
Patients with lung disease should be on high alert.
Greek epidemiologist urges citizens to wear masks
Meanwhile, in Greece, epidemiologist and Covid-19 committee member Marios Lazanas urged citizens to wear masks at all times.
Referring to the spike in Covid-19 cases in Greece, which numbered 303 in the last 24 hours, half of which in the greater Athens region, Lazanas said the use of mask should be mandatory at all times outdoors too.
“We all want to avoid the possibility of a lockdown… that is why we are all trying to convince citizens to implement the measures that are in place now,” he said, adding that the restrictions have not worked, specifically in Attica as the number of infections and ICU cases remains high.