Study: Kids shouldn't wear masks; inhaling unhealthy levels of CO2
The study was published by the JAMA Pediatrics Network
The study, “ Experimental Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Content in Inhaled Air With or Without Face Masks in Healthy Children",” was published by the JAMA Pediatrics Network on June 30.
“Many governments have made nose and mouth covering or face masks compulsory for schoolchildren. The evidence base for this is weak.1,2 The question whether nose and mouth covering increases carbon dioxide in inhaled air is crucial,” reads the study’s introduction. “A large-scale survey in Germany of adverse effects in parents and children using data of 25 930 children has shown that 68% of the participating children had problems when wearing nose and mouth coverings.”
The introduction notes that “normal content of carbon dioxide in the open is about 0.04% by volume (ie, 400 ppm). A level of 0.2% by volume or 2000 ppm is the limit for closed rooms according to the German Federal Environmental Office, and everything beyond this level is unacceptable.”
The study found that kids were inhaling unacceptable levels of carbon dioxide within just a few minutes and that kids under the age of seven were inhaling carbon dioxide at the highest levels.
Excerpt with emphasis added:
The mean (SD) age of the children was 10.7 (2.6) years (range, 6-17 years), and there were 20 girls and 25 boys. Measurement results are presented in the Table. We checked potential associations with outcome. Only age was associated with carbon dioxide content in inhaled air (y = 1.9867 – 0.0555 × x; r = –0.39; P = .008; Figure). Hence, we added age as a continuous covariate to the model. This revealed an association (partial η2 = 0.43; P < .001). Contrasts showed that this was attributable to the difference between the baseline value and the values of both masks jointly. Contrasts between the 2 types of masks were not significant. We measured means (SDs) between 13 120 (384) and 13 910 (374) ppm of carbon dioxide in inhaled air under surgical and filtering facepiece 2 (FFP2) masks, which is higher than what is already deemed unacceptable by the German Federal Environmental Office by a factor of 6. This was a value reached after 3 minutes of measurement.Children under normal conditions in schools wear such masks for a mean of 270 (interquartile range, 120-390) minutes.3 The Figure shows that the value of the child with the lowest carbon dioxide level was 3-fold greater than the limit of 0.2 % by volume.4 The youngest children had the highest values, with one 7-year-old child’s carbon dioxide level measured at 25 000 ppm.
A previous survey of thousands of German parents had documented complaints from children forced to wear a mask all day with symptoms including difficultly concentrating, drowsiness, headaches, and nausea.
The June 30 JAMA published study suggests that those symptoms are typical of hypercapnia, a build-up of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, and could be an explanation of what children have experienced while wearing a mask.
“We suggest that decision-makers weigh the hard evidence produced by these experimental measurements accordingly, which suggest that children should not be forced to wear face masks," the study says in conclusion.
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