We can all breath easy, a new study suggests that surgical disposable face masks don't cause a buildup of CO2 or restrict oxygen flow. Studies also found that disposable face masks aren't harmful for patience with respiratory illnesses to wear such as COPD. New studies released by the American Thoracic Society (the world's leading medical association dedicated to advancing pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine) finds contradict statements linking wearing face masks to carbon dioxide poisoning by trapping CO2.
During the COVID-19 pandemic wearing a disposable facemask has becoming a highly controversial topic with some people claiming that wearing a medical face mask may be putting people's health at risk, thankfully due to this study we can now prove the otherwise. Medical Doctors and Professionals at the society assessed oxygen levels and CO2 levels of healthy individuals as well as people that have had long standing COPD before and while using a surgical face mask. The study showed minimal effect even with those with severe lung impairment when they had the face mask on or off. The study conducted included 15 military veterans with severe COPD and 15 healthy individuals who all wore a mask for 30 minutes. They where told to walk for 6 minutes while wearing the surgical face mask to put them through some excursion. Researchers than gave each person a blood test to discovered there was no differences in oxygen or CO2 levels.
The feeling of breathlessness that some healthy people may experience when wearing a facemask is not a synonymous of alterations in gas exchange. It is likely occurs from the restriction of air flow with a face mask on particular when high exertion is needed. For example if your walking briskly up a hill you may experience a feeling of breathlessness. A tight fitting face mask may increase your feeling of breathlessness, the simple solution is to slow down so you can bring in enough air or slightly loosen your mask.
Just a little background on the American Thoracic Society, they where founded in 1905 and remain the world's leading medical association dedicated to advancing pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. The Society's more than 16,000 members prevent and work to fight respiratory diseases around the globe through extensive research, education, patient care, and advocacy.
The doctor that conducted the study stressed the importance of wearing a disposable face mask at all times to prevent the virus. Patients with lung disease should, in particular, should avoid getting infected and should be wearing a facemask at all times when in public places or around others. He also reminded us of the importance of handwashing and social distancing at all times.