Face Masks Have No Significant Negative Effect on CO2 and O2 Levels

According to a new study, published in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society, face masks have an insignificant effect on the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels a person breathes in, even if one has a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).Face Masks Have No Significant Negative Effect on CO2 and O2 Levels

For the study, a team of researchers recruited 15 house staff physicians without any lung conditions and 15 veterans with COPD. The veterans stayed in the hospital and their oxygen levels were checked withing the program of COPD monitoring.

The researchers found no clinically significant changes in any of the participants’ end-tidal carbon dioxide measurements — the amount of carbon dioxide in an exhalation. They also found no changes in blood oxygen levels after 5 or 30 minutes of wearing a mask while resting.

The researchers conclude in their paper: "It is important to inform the public that the discomfort associated with mask use should not lead to unsubstantiated safety concerns, as this may attenuate the application of a practice proven to improve public health."

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