BREATHING WITH FACE MASK DOES NOT ALTER OXYGEN LEVEL; VIRUS CAN LAST 9 HOURS ON SKIN
Researchers said the average face mask may be uncomfortable but does not limit the flow of oxygen to the lungs, even in people with severe lung diseases
Reserchers tested the effect of wearing surgical masks on gas exchange – the process by which the body adds oxygen to the blood while removing carbon dioxide – in 15 healthy physicians and 15 military veterans with severely impaired lungs via a quick paced six-minute walk on a flat, hard surface.
Oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood were measured before and after the walking test.
Neither the healthy doctors nor the patients with diseased lungs showed any major changes in gas exchange measurements after the walking test or up to 30 minutes later.
Mask discomfort is likely not due to rebreathing of carbon dioxide and decreases in oxygen levels, the researchers reported on Friday in the journal Thorax.