Health Canada has issued a warning about blue and gray disposable face masks, which contain an asbestos-like substance associated with “early pulmonary toxicity.”
The SNN200642 masks, which are made in China and sold and distributed by a Quebec-based company called Métallifer, had been part of Canada’s public school reopening plan.
Students were told that they needed to wear them in the classroom to prevent the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19).
Health Canada, however, discovered during a preliminary risk assessment that the masks contain microscopic graphene particles that, when inhaled, could cause severe lung damage.
“Graphene is a strong, very thin material that is used in fabrication, but it can be harmful to lungs when inhaled and can cause long-term health problems,” reported CBC News.
For a while now, some daycare educators had expressed suspicion about the masks, which were causing children to feel as though they were swallowing cat hair while wearing them. We now know that instead of cat hair, children were inhaling the equivalent of asbestos all day long.
“If you have this type of mask in stock, we ask that you stop distributing them and keep them in a safe place now,” the provincial government wrote in a directive, which was sent to the education, families, and higher education ministries of Canada.
Face Masks Are Neither Safe Nor Effective
As it turns out, the SNN200642 masks that were being used all across Canada in school classrooms had never been tested for safety or effectiveness.
Patrick Baillargeon, who heads up purchasing for Quebec’s laboratory supplies, says that because of this, the masks never should have been used.
The risks associated with inhaling graphene particles is unacceptable, he added, and Canadians – and everyone else, for that matter – should immediately stop using the masks.
“We therefore ask all our customers to check if they have any in their possession,” Baillargeon wrote in a notice, further revealing that at the time of their acquisition and distribution, the blue and gray disposable face masks were not in compliance with government regulations.
Schools and other facilities adopted them due to fears surrounding the Wuhan virus, but this rushed, reactionary response is now causing other problems in the form of lung damage.
“We are now verifying whether any of these particular masks remain in our schools and centres,” reads a letter sent by the Lester B. Pearson school board to the parents of all exposed children.