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Health & Fit This Face Mask Claim Is Going Viral—and It's 100 Percent Wrong

18:45  08 july  2020
18:45  08 july  2020 Source:   bestlifeonline.com

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As parts of the nation appear to struggle with what seems to be the relatively easy task of wearing a mask, a raft of YouTube videos has cropped up promoting a very specious, irresponsible, and plainly false myth about the dangers of wearing a mask.  So, does the prolonged use of COVID-19-related face masks cause health problems due to breathing in too much carbon dioxide? The answer is no.

a woman wearing a white shirt: Child wearing a mask giving a thumbs up © Provided by Best Life Child wearing a mask giving a thumbs up

According to a media watchdog site, videos that have warned viewers about the breathing dangers of wearing a mask are going viral and have received a combined total of at least 700,000 views on Youtube. The videos have also been shared on Facebook, getting a combined total of more than 400,000 engagements as of July 6.

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As most conspiracy theories go, there is an ounce of truth that leads to the believability in this myth. Breathing too much carbon dioxide is, in fact,  dangerous for the body. And anyone with preexisting respiratory illnesses should be aware of issues that may come with prolonged use of tight-fitting masks.

But as fact-checking site Snopes makes clear, "people wearing cloth or surgical masks are in little to no danger of breathing in unhealthy amounts of carbon dioxide." The World Health Organization even weighed in on this viral myth noting "The prolonged use of medical masks can be uncomfortable. However, it does not lead to CO2 intoxication nor oxygen deficiency. "

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The ubiquitous wearing of masks in public has, like everything else in this hyper-partisan time, has become political. So let's establish the evidence that universal mask-wearing is an effective way to stop the spread of the coronavirus outbreak and safely reopen a US economy cratered by shelter-at-home guidelines from the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

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A recent Philadelphia Inquirer study found that states that recommend their residents wear masks—but do not require it—have seen new coronavirus cases rise by 84 percent over the last two weeks. The states that mandate wearing masks in public, however, have seen new cases drop 25 percent over the last two weeks. Some states are making public mask-wearing mandatory, while others are only recommending it, but not deeming it a requirement.

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