New Study Highlights Face Mask Problems with Safety and Efficacy

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A new study on face masks highlight their inefficacy, lack of safety and ability to cause physiological, psychological and long-term health problems, which may culminate in immune suppression, worsened chronic disease, accelerated aging and premature death

Baruch Vainshelboim, who works with the cardiology division at Stanford's Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System in California, is among the latest to sound the alarm that face masks should be avoided for the general public.

It's not simply an issue of whether or not they "work" -- though as he writes, "scientific evidence supporting facemasks' efficacy is lacking" -- or that wearing something is better than nothing because, as noted by Vainshelboim, "adverse physiological, psychological and health effects are established."[i]

The paradox, he notes, has been apparent from the beginning as SARS-CoV-2 affects the respiratory system, potentially leading to respiratory failure and death (though it should be noted that the case fatality rate is low -- considerably less than 1% or, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci and colleagues in March 2020, consequences may be "more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza"[ii]).

Facemasks, by their very nature, restrict breathing, calling into question their clinical basis as a protective strategy. Face masks can cause a low level of oxygen in the blood (hypoxemia) along with excessive carbon dioxide in your bloodstream (hypercapnia), and may "increase the risk for respiratory complications, self-contamination and exacerbation of existing chronic conditions."[iii]

Four Hypotheses Against Face Masks -- With Strong Scientific Support

Vainshelboim made four hypotheses, which were published in the journal Medical Hypotheses, along with scientific support offering validation.[iv] The fact that this report is published in Medical Hypotheses is important, as the journal exists to shine light on topics that might otherwise be buried.

"This is not a conventional journal and that is precisely why it exists," the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) noted. "It was founded out of a concern that valid scientific observations that depart from current trends will not make it through the conventional peer review process with a thesis that is radical or breaks an emergent mold."[v]

Considering the ongoing efforts to censor free speech and deplatform health websites that delve into topics outside of the official narrative, journals like these are more important now than ever before. Vainshelboim's hypotheses include:[vi]

  1. The practice of wearing facemasks has compromised safety and efficacy profile
  2. Both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to reduce human-to-human transmission and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19
  3. Wearing facemasks has adverse physiological and psychological effects
  4. Long-term consequences of wearing facemasks on health are detrimental

Safety and Efficacy Are Lacking

Mild to moderate hypoxemia and hypercapnia that may occur from wearing a face mask interfere with your body's requirement for adequate oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide, leading to a series of physiologic effects:[vii]

Higher contribution of anaerobic energy metabolism

Decrease in pH levels

Increase in cells and blood acidity


Oxidative stress

Chronic inflammation


Health deterioration

These risks come with only an illusion of safety. The thread diameter of medical and non-medical face masks ranges from 55 micrometers (µm) to 440 µm, while SARS-CoV-2 has a diameter of 60 nanometers (nm) to 140 nm, which is more than 1,000 times smaller. This means the virus can pass through most face masks, which already have a low efficiency filtration rate of 0.7% to 26% for non-surgical, cotton masks.[viii]

A number of clinical studies also challenge their effectiveness, including one study showing no significant difference in coronavirus droplet transmission of particles >5 µm among symptomatic individuals wearing or not wearing a facemask.[ix]

Further, Vainshelboim noted, "Among asymptomatic individuals, there was no droplets or aerosols coronavirus detected from any participant with or without the mask, suggesting that asymptomatic individuals do not transmit or infect other people."[x]

Adverse Physiological and Psychological Effects

Restricting breathing over long periods of time while wearing a face mask is likely to make existing cardiopulmonary, metabolic, vascular and neurological conditions worse, while having significant adverse effects physically and psychologically.

A 2015 study of health care workers found that those wearing cloth masks had the highest rate of influenza-like illness, with the researchers cautioning against the use of cloth masks because moisture retention, reuse of the masks and poor filtration could increase infection risk.[xi] Vainshelboim's review of research further found the following adverse effects of face masks.

As you can see in the table below, the physiological and psychological effects may add up to long-term health consequences, including detrimental effects on the immune system, worsening of chronic diseases and accelerated aging and premature death:[xii]

Physiological Effects

Psychological Effects

Health Consequences


Activation of "fight or flight" stress response

Increased predisposition for viral and infection illnesses


Chronic stress condition


Shortness of breath



Increased lactate concentration

Mood disturbances


Decline in pH levels





Cardiovascular disease


Compromised cognitive performance







Alzheimer's disease

Increase in stress hormone levels (adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol)


Exacerbation of existing conditions and diseases

Increased muscle tension


Accelerated aging process



Health deterioration



Premature mortality

Wearing face masks also dehumanizes social connections, which are a basic human need. According to Vainshelboim:[xiii]

"Basic human-to-human connectivity through face expression is compromised and self-identity is somewhat eliminated. These dehumanizing movements partially delete the uniqueness and individuality of the person who is wearing the facemask as well as the connected person."

36 Studies Show Face Masks' Lack of Safety and Effectiveness

Our face mask database contains 36 studies on the lack of safety and effectiveness of what has become, in many areas, a mandated form of public health policy not to be questioned. One New York University professor, Mark Crispin Miller, even came under fire for urging his students to think critically about mask claims -- apropos for his course on Mass Persuasion and Propaganda.[xiv] Miller wrote:[xv]

"I do believe they should be thinking for themselves, and studying the evidence for any claim or mandate, instead of merely bowing to authority. That's my intellectual and civic obligation, as a teacher, whatever NYU's official policy, or New York State's. It's one thing to expect the students to obey their institution's rules, but quite another thing to urge them not to think about it."

This is the same theme being parroted in mainstream media, unfortunately, urging the public to accept the new mask culture even as the World Health Organization and the CDC previously advised against it. As AIER noted:[xvi]

"Given that masking of healthy populations for long periods of time is a new policy, it is astounding that the media and scientific journals decided within a matter of months that the efficacy of the practice could not be questioned or studied, nor its adverse effects discussed."

Likewise, Vainshelboim concluded that given the many risks and challenges to their safety and efficacy, governments, policy makers and health organizations should "utilize a proper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks," before mandating them as a preventive public health approach.


[i] Medical Hypotheses January 2021, Volume 146 110411

[ii] N Engl J Med 2020; 382:1268-1269

[iii] Medical Hypotheses January 2021, Volume 146 110411

[iv] Medical Hypotheses January 2021, Volume 146 110411

[vi] Medical Hypotheses January 2021, Volume 146 110411

[vii] Medical Hypotheses January 2021, Volume 146 110411

[viii] Medical Hypotheses January 2021, Volume 146 110411

[x] Medical Hypotheses January 2021, Volume 146 110411

[xii] Medical Hypotheses January 2021, Volume 146 110411

[xiii] Medical Hypotheses January 2021, Volume 146 110411

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