The health officials all around the world encourage people to wear masks to slow down the spread of COVID 19 but according to a Facebook post, it claims that masks can give lung cancer to the wearer. Guy Crittenden, former editor of the Canadian trade publication HazMat Management, posts on Facebook, “That Mask is Giving You Lung Cancer.” He also asserted his claims are backed by OSHA mask experts. The post has been shared across a number of platforms. It claims that wearing masks causes oxygen deprivation and the chemicals used on masks will give wearers cancer. This lung cancer myth has been broken and this face check has been done by Reuters.
Also, an article published by Blacklisted News claimed that wearing mask over a prolonged period of time contributes to development of lung cancer. The article cites a study led by New York University School of Medicine researchers where they examined the type of bacteria present in airways of patients with cancerous lung nodules.
The study was conducted between 2013 and 2018, the period which is long before the widespread of mask usage becoming necessary. The claim that long-term mask use may contribute to advanced stage lung cancer is false. Leopoldo Segel, an associate professor at the Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, explained: “There is no scientific rationale to suspect that mask wearing will increase the amount of oral bacteria that reach to the lung.”
There’s no scientific evidence that supports the claim that masks can cause cancer. This claim misrepresents the findings of study on lung cancer and propagates a false claim about health effects of wearing mask. There are evidences that wearing a mask can reduce the spread of viral respiratory illnesses likes COVID-19. Health authorities like Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization recommend use of face masks for protective measures to help slow its spread.
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