Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?

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Kai Kisielinski 1 , Paul Giboni 2 , Andreas Prescher 3 , Bernd Klosterhalfen 4 , David Graessel 5 , Stefan Funken 6 , Oliver Kempski 7 and Oliver Hirsch 8,*

1 Private Practice, 40212 Düsseldorf, Germany; kaikisielinski@yahoo.de 2 Private Practice, 22763 Hamburg, Germany; pgiboni@gmx.de 3 Institute of Molecular and Cellular Anatomy (MOCA), Wendlingweg 2, 52074 Aachen, Germany; aprescher@ukaachen.de 4 Institute of Pathology, Dueren Hospital, Roonstrasse 30, 52351 Dueren, Germany; bernd.klosterhalfen@web.de 5 Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany; d.graessel@fz-juelich.de 6 Private Practice, 47803 Krefeld, Germany; dr_funken@colita.net 7 Institute of Neurosurgical Pathophysiology, University Medical Centre of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz Langenbeckstr. 1, 55131 Mainz, Germany; oliver.kempski@unimedizin-mainz.de 8 Department of Psychology, FOM University of Applied Sciences, 57078 Siegen, Germany * Correspondence: oliver.hirsch@fom.de

Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 202118(8), 4344; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084344
Received: 20 March 2021 / Revised: 15 April 2021 / Accepted: 16 April 2021 / Published: 20 April 2021
 

Abstract

Many countries introduced the requirement to wear masks in public spaces for containing SARS-CoV-2 making it commonplace in 2020. Up until now, there has been no comprehensive investigation as to the adverse health effects masks can cause. The aim was to find, test, evaluate and compile scientifically proven related side effects of wearing masks. For a quantitative evaluation, 44 mostly experimental studies were referenced, and for a substantive evaluation, 65 publications were found. The literature revealed relevant adverse effects of masks in numerous disciplines. In this paper, we refer to the psychological and physical deterioration as well as multiple symptoms described because of their consistent, recurrent and uniform presentation from different disciplines as a Mask-Induced Exhaustion Syndrome (MIES). We objectified evaluation evidenced changes in respiratory physiology of mask wearers with significant correlation of O2 drop and fatigue (p < 0.05), a clustered co-occurrence of respiratory impairment and O2 drop (67%), N95 mask and CO2 rise (82%), N95 mask and O2 drop (72%), N95 mask and headache (60%), respiratory impairment and temperature rise (88%), but also temperature rise and moisture (100%) under the masks. Extended mask-wearing by the general population could lead to relevant effects and consequences in many medical fields.