The forwarded messages about the negative effects of wearing masks such as causing carbon dioxide (CO2) inhalation gas poisoning and lack of oxygen (O2) or hypoxia have circulated on social media and conversation groups in recent times.
dr. Mahatma Sotya Bawono, M.Sc, Sp.THT-KL., as the UGM Academic Hospital (RSA), Ear, Nose Throat-Head, and Neck Surgeon, denied the claim that wearing a mask could cause carbon dioxide (CO2) inhalation gas poisoning and lack of oxygen (O2).
"There is no evidence to support the use of masks with negative effects, such as causing carbon dioxide poisoning and lack of oxygen," he said when contacted Wednesday (12/8).
He conveyed that allied health has confirmed the safety of the mask used for health. In fact, in an operation process for lasted several hours, there have never been any doctors or other medical staff who experienced carbon dioxide poisoning and or lack of oxygen supply that potents to make them confused or dropped due to poor air circulation due to masks.
"If there is a health worker who drops, it is not because of the impact. We must see that there are other factors in the individual. It could be that he or she is hungry and dehydrated. So that perhaps, without wearing a mask, there is still a risk of fainting," said Boni.
He continued that it has been a recommendation and the regulations to use masks during the pandemic to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 when doing activities outside the home and interacting with other people. Research says masks are effective in reducing transmission of the coronavirus, which is nanometer in size. However, masks, including the N-95 type, can still be penetrated by oxygen and carbon dioxide so that it will not interfere with air circulation during the use.
"There is still a gap for air to exchange. If it does not penetrate at all, 3 minutes after wearing the mask, you can immediately pass out," Boni explained.
Therefore, Boni asked the public not to worry about using masks because they are safe for health and protect themselves and others from the spread of the coronavirus. However, he appealed to the community not to wear N-95 masks intended for health staff who treat high-risk patients.
"Wearing an N-95 mask is indeed uncomfortable and tiring, and this is only for health staff who have straight contact with Covid-19 patients. Hence, the general public wears a three-layer cloth mask by paying attention to the correct way of using and removing it," he explained.
dr. Siswanto, Sp.P., as Lung Specialist at UGM Academic Hospital, added that wearing a mask is safe even when doing exercise—wearing a mask when doing exercise is safe for health and does not interfere with lung function. Psychologically, the capacity of the human lungs is much higher, up to 200 times the capacity of the heart and blood vessels.
"There is even a special type of mask, such as the elevated training mask, which commonly used to train fitness," he said.
Meanwhile, Siswanto also explained that a factor that causes a cyclist died when he was wearing a mask is due to a disturbance in the heart or blood vessels, not a lung function problem.
"The use of masks can reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19, and there is no difference in the negative impact on lung function and metabolic parameters," Siswanto explained.
Translator: Natasa A