Wearing Masks Can Cause 'Substantial' Harm, Even to Unborn Babies

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Wearing masks in a vain effort to avoid getting COVID-19 can cause “substantial ill-effects” to children and adults, but also to the unborn, according to a new study conducted in Germany.

It’s been shown again and again that cloth masks, particularly when reused and casually worn, do little or nothing to prevent the spread of COVID. While I try not to judge perfectly healthy-looking people who still wear them — desperately clinging to “science” so outdated that it was never proven in the first place — I can’t help but wonder if they’re more pretentious than ridiculous or the other way around.

My own biases aside, it turns out that wearing masks can cause more harm than merely garnering funny looks from judgmental internet columnists.

City Journal’s Jeffrey H. Anderson last week cited a German study showing what many of us — including more PJ Media VIP commenters than I could ever hope to count — suspected from the start: Re-breathing exhaled carbon dioxide is bad for you.

“Mask wearers,” Anderson noted, “breathe in greater amounts of air that should have been expelled from their bodies and released out into the open.”

The German authors wrote that while Fresh air has a CO2 concentration of around 0.04%, mask wearers “bear a possible chronic exposure to low level carbon dioxide of 1.41–3.2% CO2.”

Chronic exposure to concentrations of CO2 above 0.3% is toxic.

“In other words,” and I’m glad Anderson did the math for me here, “while eight times the normal level of carbon dioxide is toxic, research suggests that mask-wearers… are breathing in 35 to 80 times normal levels.” If I’m doing my math correctly, that means wearing masks can give you a CO2 concentration of about 4.5 to 10 times the toxic level.

That isn’t to say that strapping a decorative bit of cloth around your mouth is going to cause immediate harm. Apparently, that harm comes “specifically those who wear masks for more than 5 minutes at a time” and those problems can include “increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and overall increased circulation with the symptoms of headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, rhinitis, and dry cough.”

Higher concentrations caused by keeping the damn thing on even longer can result in “reduced cognitive performance, impaired decision-making, and reduced speed of cognitive solutions.” Even higher concentrations — above 1% — can cause “respiratory acidosis, metabolic stress, increased blood flow, and decreased exercise tolerance.”

Let’s go back to Anderson for the truly damning part of the study:

The authors write that “it is clear that carbon dioxide rebreathing, especially when using N95 masks, is above the 0.8% CO2 limit set by the US Navy to reduce the risk of stillbirths and birth defects on submarines with female personnel who may be pregnant.” In other words, mandates have forced pregnant women to wear masks resulting in levels of CO2 inhalation that would be prohibited if they were serving on a Navy submarine.

Worse, the Germans found “circumstantial evidence that popular mask use may be related to current observations of a significant rise of 28% to 33% in stillbirths worldwide and a reduced verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance of two full standard deviations in scores in children born during the pandemic.”

It would appear that the more effective the mask against transmitting anything — note the reference to N95 gear above — the more likely wearers and their unborn children are to suffer from toxic concentrations of CO2.

Thanks for your concern about my health, Dr. Fauci, but I’ll take (another) pass on the mask.

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