Why FB's "Fact Check" of Mask Harm Claims is Utter Bullsh*t - Addendum to "Why I Won't Be Putting Masks on my Kids"
So I've just seen that Facebook has "fact checked" the claim (made in my most recent post) that "Wearing face masks can cause carbon dioxide toxicity; can weaken immune system." (I've written elsewhere about why Facebook's "fact checkers" are not really fact checkers.)
Here's why this is bullshit:
1. From the "fact check": "While it is true that hypercapnia can be life-threatening, the claim that it can be caused by wearing face masks, either surgical masks or respirators, is unsupported and runs contrary to existing evidence..." It goes on to claim that healthcare workers "...wear both types of masks for long hours at work without reported impacts to their work performance."
In my post, I cited two studies showing that wearing N95 masks can cause hypoxia, with headaches being the primary symptom revealed by the studies. If the "fact-checkers" want to claim that they are only going after claims of "hypercapnia" and not "hypoxia", then that would be utterly disingenuous. It is clear from the evidence I provided that wearing these types of masks does create serious health problems, whether because of oxygen deprivation or excess CO2 levels.
2. The "fact checkers" go on to assert, quoting an article in Forbes:
“Take surgeons, for example—during long procedures, they wear surgical masks for hours with no ill-effects on their carbon dioxide levels. Having a surgeon with an altered mental state would not be in the best interests of either the patient or the surgeon and thankfully, this simply does not happen.”
This may be true, I don't know, as I haven't looked into studies on CO2 levels for surgeons using masks. However I did link to a study that looked at the impact on oxygen levels among surgeons wearing masks, and it showed that oxygen levels were indeed adversely affected by the masks.
3. They go on to say:
"The claim that wearing masks would weaken the immune system is also unsupported by scientific evidence. Prolonged wearing of face masks can cause problems such as discomfort, skin irritation, and even pressure ulcers, however immunodeficiency is not among the problems caused by prolonged face mask use."
This is complete horseshit.
In my post, for example, I cite two studies showing that wearing N95 masks can cause hypoxia among healthcare workers. I also link to studies showing that hypoxia enahnces immune suppression, that hypoxia negatively impacts Th1 function, and that "hypoxia-driven immunosuppression" contributes to creating favorable environments for cancer cells. Also, tangentially related (not necessarily related to immune function), a study showing that continuous cloth mask use was correlated with higher infection rates than was "standard practice" mask use (non-continuous).
So yes, immunodeficiency absolutely IS among the problems caused by prolonged face-mask use, you criminally dishonest pieces of manure.
I'm sure there is more, but I'll stop there.
...except for this last point. The fact checkers say, at the very end:
"A much more likely cause of hypercapnia and asphyxia that the general public should be aware of is covering one’s face with plastic. Because plastic is not porous enough to allow for quick air exchange, unlike face masks, it poses a genuine suffocation risk as cases in the past have demonstrated, and warning labels on plastic bags are used to remind people of this risk."
And I get why they had to say that.
Because anyone who is stupid enough to take Facebook's "fact-checkers" seriously, is also stupid enough to put a plastic bag over their head and expect it to protect them. This is actually the most responsible piece of information in the entire article.