Masks Exposing You to THIS Hazardous Chemical?

One of the most effective measures you can take to avoid catching COVID-19 is to wear a mask.

Some people have questioned the effectiveness of masks during the pandemic. And I do get the concerns.

But long before COVID reared its ugly head, we understood they provide a good first line of defense against ALL airborne infections when worn correctly.

And that includes the common cold, flu, and now COVID.

The decision to wear a mask or not is certainly a personal one and is based on many factors.

Where you live, where you’re going (an outdoor concert is far different than a small meeting room, for example), your family, your vaccine status, and your health all play a role.

But recently, I’ve seen a new concern being raised about masks.

It turns out some could contain hazardous chemicals.  Let’s talk about it.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials. researchers examined the amount of phthalic acid esters (PAEs) or phthalates in commercially available face masks.

All the masks tested had layers of polypropylene, polyester, polycarbonate, polystyrene, or polyethylene. Manufacturers use phthalates to increase the flexibility of these materials.

Phthalates have been in the news lately because they are endocrine disruptors that can mess with your hormones. Plus, they’re potentially carcinogenic (cancer-causing).

The researchers found four phthalates in the masks…

  • dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
  • diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP)
  • benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)

About 20 percent of the masks had levels exceeding the limits set by the EPA.

I understand this is disturbing to hear. But it doesn’t mean you should toss all of your masks. Let me explain why.

We’re surrounded by phthalates, so it’s no surprise that they would be found in face masks. They’re also in the vinyl flooring beneath our feet, many oils, and even a large number of our personal-care products, including some soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, and hair sprays.

Phthalates are even in many of the foods we eat!

In other words, masks are FAR from your only source of exposure.

Now it’s certainly NOT a good thing that these creepy chemicals are everywhere you look. In fact, I’ve warned you about them several times right here in Living Well Daily. But it’s important to know how prevalent they are to put things in context.

In THIS case, the key to managing risks versus benefits is HOW LONG you’re exposed. When it comes to masks, that’s typically a relatively short time.

If you’re like most folks, you wear a mask to do something like shopping but don’t have one on for the rest of the day. And in that case, the potential benefits FAR outweigh any risks.

After all, wearing a mask significantly reduces your chance of catching a sometimes deadly disease. Plus, you could be avoiding long-term consequences of the infection ranging from elevated heart risks to permanent lung damage.

If you wear your mask all day it’s true your potential exposure to phthalates will naturally be higher. But EVEN THEN, the benefits should still outweigh the risks. Just make sure you’re using only good-quality name-brand ones.

I suspect, in light of these findings, mask manufacturers are ALREADY scrambling to test their products right now to ensure they’re low in phthalates. So look for that information to show up on the packaging soon to help you choose which ones to buy.

Some makers may even switch to alternate phthalate-free materials if possible.

Remember, cloth masks DON’T work as well as N95 masks. However, they do provide some protection, especially if they have a well-fitting nose wire.

So if they’re your only option, go ahead and wear one. Or double up and wear two to reverse the “swiss-cheese” effect of a single cloth mask, potentially increasing your protection when cases rise in your area.

P.S. Think COVID is over, or that you’re in the clear if you’ve been vaccinated or have had the virus? Think again. Plus, seniors may be at even higher risk for THIS complication.


“Determination and risk assessment of phthalates in face masks. An Italian study,” Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 443, Part A, 5 February 2023, 130176

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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