Fact check: Masks won't give you lung cancer

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asked Oct 8, 2021 in 3D Segmentation by freeamfva (39,060 points)

Corrections & Clarifications: This fact-check has been updated to reflect further reporting and analysis and to more accurately describe how masks function related to the coronavirus. The fact-check rating has been changed to "false."To get more news about quality nonmedical mask factory, you can visit tnkme.com official website.

As health officials around the country encourage mask-wearing to slow the spread of COVID-19, a Facebook post is claiming masks can give wearers cancer.

“THAT MASK IS GIVING YOU LUNG CANCER,” reads the Oct. 15 Facebook post, written by Guy Crittenden. As a source, Crittenden cites his time as former editor of the Canadian trade publication HazMat Management, which in part focuses on issues related to occupational safety and waste management.
He also asserted his claims are backed up by “OSHA mask experts” Tammy Clark and Kristen Meghan, two women with backgrounds in environmental health and safety who appeared on anti-vaccine personality Del Bigtree’s webcast “The HighWire.” The two women spoke out against face masks, though notably did not address the supposed cancer-causing chemicals Crittenden’s post mentions. Bigtree has used his program to push various COVID-19-related conspiracy theories.
Crittenden’s post has been shared across a number of platforms, with Pennsylvania state Rep. Russ Diamond sharing a link to it via The Human News Network, a website that claims to “carry the load vacated by the Fake Media.”

Crittenden claims wearing masks causes oxygen deprivation (experts say it doesn’t), that they don't offer protection against coronavirus and that chemicals used on masks will give wearers cancer.Masks won't lead to lung cancer. And they do protect against coronavirus. Claims to the contrary are false. USA TODAY found that Crittenden's statements about chemicals and face masks require more context.

One of the chemicals Crittenden mentions is ethylene oxide, a “known carcinogen” he claims is used to sterilize surgical masks.

According to the World Health Organization, ethylene oxide is a “potent neurotoxin, a known human carcinogen, a potential reproductive hazard, and an allergic sensitizer” that can cause health problems with acute overexposure and chronic exposure. Lymphoma and leukemia are the cancers most commonly linked to occupational exposure to ethylene oxide, although stomach and breast cancers may also be associated, according to the National Cancer Institute.

At the same time, “ethylene oxide sterilization is an important sterilization method that manufacturers widely use to keep medical devices safe,” according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Ethylene oxide may sometimes be the only method of effectively sterilizing equipment that would otherwise be damaged in other sterilization processes, the FDA notes.

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