the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, finally a lab study in a prestige medical journal confirming the obvious – that it’s hard for kids to breathe with masks strapped to their faces.
Most of the complaints reported by children can be understood as consequences of elevated carbon dioxide levels in inhaled air. This is because of the dead-space volume of the masks, which collects exhaled carbon dioxide quickly after a short time. This carbon dioxide mixes with fresh air and elevates the carbon dioxide content of inhaled air under the mask, and this was more pronounced in this study for younger children.
This leads in turn to impairments attributable to hypercapnia. A recent review concluded that there was ample evidence for adverse effects of wearing such masks. We suggest that decision-makers weigh the hard evidence produced by these experimental measurements accordingly, which suggest that children should not be forced to wear face masks.
The German safety limit is 0.2% CO2 in inhaled air; the United States OSHA safety limit is 0.5%. The lowest measured masked sample in the study was 0.6%. The youngest children in the study had the highest inhaled CO2 levels.