A new study suggests that face masks have a negligible negative effect on the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen that a person breathes.
The findings even hold true for individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The research, which appears in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society, contributes to dispelling some of the myths surrounding the use of face masks in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As the world gains access to more information about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, scientists have become increasingly convinced that masks can help reduce its spread.
The primary way that SARS-CoV-2 transmits involves viral particles entering a person’s respiratory tract. This typically happens after another person coughs, sneezes, or speaks near them, producing droplets or aerosols that transport the virus.
Consequently, face masks play an important role in reducing exposure to the virus and limiting the amount of the virus that a person can project toward others.
There is a growing consensus about the value of face masks in reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, though this has not always been the case.
Initially, little was known about the new virus and policy had to be developed based on the best available evidence, following scientific models that drew on data from earlier epidemics involving similar viruses.
As a consequence, guidance about mask wearing has varied from country to country, and some major health bodies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have changed their advice over time.Original Source