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Does anyone have information regarding the extended use of cloth face masks being hazardous to health?


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#1 epantoja895

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 02:45 PM

A concern was brought to my attention by one of our employees with respect to continuously using face masks.  We use cloth face masks and dust masks; we do not use N95.  Unfortunately, the employee saw information on social media that suggested that using a face mask for long periods of time will cause respiratory issues due to breathing back.  I have not seen any legitimate information that suggests that face masks are a risk.

 

Our employees wear a face mask while working and have three breaks during the 8 hour work shift to remove the mask.  My employee is reacting to fear and obviously I want to address this in order to feel safe in these trying times.

 

Does anyone have information that will shed light on the extended use of cloth or dust masks being hazardous to your health?



#2 SQFconsultant

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 03:47 PM

A person that has a medical condition can be exempt from wearing a mask in PUBLIC.

 

I do not wear a mask and carry an exemption statement with me if confronted and we have the exemption statement available on our website.

 

ADA and HIPPA laws/regulations apply to the above  - if I was forced to wear a mask the fines that could apply are $75,000 first offense and $150,000 second offense.

 

For businesses, this is where it gets murky --

 

Having spoken to a real doctor on the subject of wearing a mask for hours on end he informed me that masks cause stressing on the immune system and inadequate air flow - which can lead to the person becoming sick all because of wearing the mask in and of itself.

 

We have advised our clients in the food industry of the ramifications of requiring their employees to wear masks in non-public buildings.


Edited by SQFconsultant, 06 May 2020 - 03:48 PM.

Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
 
GOC GROUP / +1.800.793.7042 / Food - Food Packaging - Food Storage/DC

SQF, BRC & IFS System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants

Serving Small-to-Mid-Size Businesses | We are International - Accepting all major C-Currencies

Internal Auditor Training | eConsultant | SQF, BRC & IFS Pre-Development or Pre-Audit GAP

http://www.GlennOsterConsulting.com  -- 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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#3 El Molino

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 06:14 PM

Standard protocols in our plant indicate use of a mask when working or handling unpackaged RTE products. Outside of establishing safe work distances there is no need in our plant to wear a mask - According to some Dr's wearing a mask is only beneficial to protecting others from getting sick. We have a standard policy that if you are sick - stay home. 



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#4 nlamers

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 06:49 PM

Though we've continued to enforce our standard sick policy (stay home if you feel unwell) in the wake of the pandemic, we've made face masks mandatory for all staff in our facility to account for the disease's potentially lengthy incubation time and the large number of asymptomatic carriers. In the cursory research I've done regarding adverse effects of face mask use over an extended period of time, there certainly seems to be a physiological and psychological impact; increases in heat and humidity within the face mask appear linked to increased heart rate, thermal stress, and perception of discomfort (source). As far as the potential danger of re-breathing CO2 is concerned, I haven't seen any evidence definitively linking respirator use by otherwise healthy individuals to any adverse effects other than those described above. Essentially, wearing something that obstructs your perceived ability to breathe normally is stressful, your body reacts accordingly, and if you're prone to stress reactions in the first place you're likely to experience greater stress from face mask use as a result. Staying relatively cool and well-hydrated can go a long way to mitigating this stress, so we've been encouraging our staff to take breaks as often as necessary. I'm also looking into face masks with less "dead space" (read: more form-fitting), as a few of the articles I browsed touched on this as a potential means of reducing respiratory stress.

 

All that said, individuals with pre-existing respiratory impairments may require exceptions or alternative accommodations to ensure their safety. Hope this helped!



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#5 TimG

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 06:50 PM

Interesting topic. I almost started a cloth face mask topic asking how many companies are enforcing it. I am on the fence about the efficacy of cloth face masks to prevent viral transmission, but I think the decision I'm going to go with is to PROVIDE but not REQUIRE their use in the facility. OP mentioned the employee reacting to fear, and while wearing a face mask might be a bit of security theater (I am not arguing for or against like I said even I am on the fence about it) I also think morale would be improved if I at least provide them.



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#6 Charles.C

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 06:34 AM

A concern was brought to my attention by one of our employees with respect to continuously using face masks.  We use cloth face masks and dust masks; we do not use N95.  Unfortunately, the employee saw information on social media that suggested that using a face mask for long periods of time will cause respiratory issues due to breathing back.  I have not seen any legitimate information that suggests that face masks are a risk.

 

Our employees wear a face mask while working and have three breaks during the 8 hour work shift to remove the mask.  My employee is reacting to fear and obviously I want to address this in order to feel safe in these trying times.

 

Does anyone have information that will shed light on the extended use of cloth or dust masks being hazardous to your health?

 

Hi epanto,

 

I speculate that yr employee may have been (anecdotally?) referring to this legalistic-oriented document, (eg section III-4) -

 

Attached File  face mask liabilities.pdf   614.31KB   21 downloads

 

I have not seen any scientific data related to the content presented in above referred section although this Canadian document includes -

Appropriate use of non-medical mask or face covering

When worn properly, a person wearing a non-medical mask or face covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets.

Non-medical face masks or face coverings should:

  • allow for easy breathing
  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
  • maintain their shape after washing and drying
  • be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
  • be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
  • be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)
  • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping

Some masks also include a pocket to accommodate a paper towel or disposable coffee filter, for increased benefit.

Non-medical masks or face coverings should not:

  • be shared with others
  • impair vision or interfere with tasks
  • be placed on children under the age of 2 years
  • be made of plastic or other non-breathable materials
  • be secured with tape or other inappropriate materials
  • be made exclusively of materials that easily fall apart, such as tissues
  • be placed on anyone unable to remove them without assistance or anyone who has trouble breathing
Limitations

Homemade masks are not medical devices and are not regulated like medical masks and respirators. Their use poses a number of limitations:

  • they have not been tested to recognized standards
  • the fabrics are not the same as used in surgical masks or respirators
  • the edges are not designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth
  • they may not provide complete protection against virus-sized particles
  • they can be difficult to breathe through and can prevent you from getting the required amount of oxygen needed by your body

 

https://www.canada.c...-coverings.html

 

Presumably this is technically/professionally a H&R issue ? Maybe ask CDC ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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