CBC News · Posted: Mar 26, 2021 7:13 PM ET Health Canada has issued a warning about blue and gray disposable face masks containing asbestos-like substance associated with “early pulmonary toxicity.”
Students were told that they needed to wear the SNN200642 masks (made in China and sold Métallifer in Quebec) as part of Canada’s public school reopening plan to prevent the spread of Covid-19. During a preliminary risk assessment, the masks were discovered to contain microscopic graphene particles that, when inhaled, could cause severe lung damage. “Graphene is a strong, very thin material that is used in fabrication, but it can be harmful to lungs when inhaled and can cause long-term health problems,” reported CBC News. For a while now, some daycare educators had expressed suspicion about the masks, which were causing children to feel as though they were swallowing cat hair while wearing them. We now know that children were inhaling the equivalent of asbestos all day long.“If you have this type of mask in stock, we ask that you stop distributing them and keep them in a safe place now,” the provincial government wrote in a directive, which was sent to the education, families, and higher education ministries of Canada. As it turns out, the SNN200642 masks that were being used all across Canada in school classrooms had never been tested for safety or effectiveness. Patrick Baillargeon, who heads up purchasing for Quebec’s laboratory supplies, says that because of this, the masks never should have been used; everyone should immediately stop using the masks! “We are now verifying whether any of these particular masks remain in our schools and centres,” reads a letter sent by the Lester B. Pearson school board to the parents of all exposed children. Back in December, the Quebec government had distributed these toxic masks to more than 15,000 daycare centers throughout the province. None of the masks met safety standards and were later ordered to no longer be used. Another similar style of disposable mask, known as MC9501, was likewise pulled from distribution throughout Canada after it was determined to be unsafe.As many as 31.1 million toxic masks from this line were distributed before the government realized that they are unfit for use. “Shouldn’t all this stuff be tested BEFORE it even leaves the factory?” asked one CBC News commenter, expressing outrage over the government’s act now, think later approach to COVID-19 mitigation. “To force a child to wear a toxic face mask is child abuse,” one wrote. “I hope lawsuits will follow.” What’s the big deal? After all, back in December, the Quebec government revealed that the 31.1 million MC9501 masks it had been distributing between May and November to more than 15,000 daycares across the province did not meet safety standards, either.