By Professor “LMC” Lisa Marie Coppoletta, columnist
During the August 12, 2021 “Special Meeting” San Marcos CISD Board of Trustees agenda item “IV. Consider Action Regarding Adopting Resolution to Mandate Masks for Employees and Students for the 2021-22 School Year,” discussed temperature checks and facemasks.
The scientific concerns of temperature checks and disposal facemasks, especially for children, are lacking in this discussion of protocols to be set in place for the new school year.
TEMPERATURE CHECK CONCERNS
At the meeting, Doug Wozniak, SMISD Director of Student Safety, explained how temperature checks will be used, “We’ll be screening kids just like we did last year. So temperatures when they get on the bus temperatures when they come through carpool. So really almost identical with our plan last year.”
My question is, what are the guidelines from the manufacturer about disinfecting non-contact thermometers being used by SMISD, according to the CDC, “If non-contact thermometers are used, you should clean and disinfect them according to manufacturer’s instructions and facility policies.”
And, temperature checks can be misleading, according to the June 03, 2021 article “Temperature Checks Now Thought to Be ‘Useless’ to Screen for COVID-19.”
“Temperature screening will miss many many people with infections,” said Dr. Jeff Klausner, a preventative medicine specialist at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.”
The article continues, “But over the course of 2020, the CDC examined cases of 766,044 travelers entering the U.S. who were screened for temperatures and other symptoms. The report says only 1 case of COVID was found for every 85,000 travelers screened. The CDC has now concluded, “Symptom-based screening programs are ineffective.”
“I think temperature screenings are problematic because many times people can have Covid without a fever,” said USC’s Dr. Klausner.”
DISPOSABLE FACE MASKS CONCERNS
Wozniak advised on SMISD’s supply of face masks. “So we currently have probably, I want to say, 50,000 disposable masks in our warehouse that we have available for all of our staff and our kiddos.” Wozniak, “We have a supply of 95 as well as K 95.”
Is N-95 really necessary in the school district? February 17, 2021 article “The CDC Just Issued a Warning About This Kind of Face Mask” states, “CDC asks that N95 masks be reserved for healthcare workers.”
Moreover, N-95 masks carry with them hidden dangers. The June 22, 2020 article “Killer COVID-19 Masks? The Truth About Trapped Carbon Dioxide” was published on the Hartford Health Care website.
“An N95 mask could possibly cause Hypoxia: When body tissue does not get enough oxygen. Hypercapnia: Elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the blood that can cause dizziness, shortness of breath, headache, and, in extreme cases, hyperventilation, seizures, and possible death. But even an N95 mask is unlikely to produce such extreme reactions. A respiratory illness such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, can cause both hypoxia and hypercapnia. Those with a preexisting condition who experience breathing difficulties, of course, would almost certainly remove the mask.”
Regarding the KN95 masks, there are also associated dangers. February 17, 2021 article “The CDC Just Issued a Warning About This Kind of Face Mask” states, “The CDC notes that at least 60 percent of KN95 masks circulating in the U.S. may be counterfeit or fake, as the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has found that they don’t meet the requirements they claim to meet.”
It is essential for the San Marcos Independent School District to have an educational piece with their mask mandate. It is vital that the cloth masks be washed upon each use. And, it makes logical sense to refrain from touching items and then touching your mask. The mask can become contaminated otherwise.
Additionally, disposable face masks can be highly toxic. In the March 31, 2021 article, “BOMBSHELL: Disposable blue face masks found to contain toxic, an asbestos-like substance that destroys lungs,” we find the toxicity of the disposal face mask: “Health Canada has issued a warning about blue and gray disposable face masks, which contain an asbestos-like substance associated with “early pulmonary toxicity.”
The SNN200642 masks, which are made in China and sold and distributed by a Quebec-based company called Métallifer, had been part of Canada’s public school reopening plan. Students were told that they needed to wear them in the classroom to prevent the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19).
Health Canada, however, discovered during a preliminary risk assessment that the masks contain microscopic graphene particles that, when inhaled, could cause severe lung damage. “Graphene is a strong, very thin material that is used in fabrication, but it can be harmful to lungs when inhaled and can cause long-term health problems,” reported CBC News.”
In an April 09, 2021 article published by The American Institute for Economic Research, “The Dangers of Masks, “by Paul Alexander bachelor’s degree in epidemiology from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, a master’s degree from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. from McMaster University’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, explains Many of the face masks “. . . are made of polyester, so you have a microplastic problem…many of the face masks would contain polyester with chlorine compounds…if I have the mask in front of my face, then, of course, I inhale the microplastic directly, and these substances are much more toxic than if you swallow them, as they get directly into the nervous system.”
And, the dangers of toxic mold are concerning “There are also reports of toxic mold, fungi, and bacteria that can pose a significant threat to the immune system by potentially weakening it. Of particular concern to us is the recent report of breathing in synthetic fibers in the face masks.”
The Graphene in some of these disposal masks can be harmful.
“We argue that there is a risk of potential ‘future’ inflammatory/fibrotic lung diseases because we are inhaling these materials in the masks now for over one year with more duration to come and no end in sight. These substances might also be highly carcinogenic. Not just for us as adults, but we must be very concerned about the risks especially to our children….”
Children in Canada were reporting they felt as if “they were swallowing cat hair while wearing them.” The article explains, “We now know that instead of cat hair, children were inhaling the equivalent of asbestos all day long.” This is a pause for concern since “This is indeed a catastrophic failure by the regulators as these surgical face masks are linked to early pulmonary toxicity.” The article also explains that “Some masks even contain fiberglass, and this is very dangerous as we know to inhale.”
In an article from April 07, 2021, ‘What we are breathing through our mouth and nose is actually hazardous waste’: Scientists find evidence of toxic chemicals in some face masks.”
“Scientists have found evidence that some face masks which are on sale and being used by members of the general public are laced with toxic chemicals. Preliminary tests have revealed traces of a variety of compounds which are heavily restricted for both health and environmental reasons. This includes formaldehyde, a chemical known to cause watery eyes; a burning sensation in the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; wheezing; and nausea.”
Not only are the contents concerning, but the long-term use may cause health impacts, says the article, “Experts are concerned that the presence of these chemicals in masks which are being worn for prolonged periods of time could cause unintended health issues.”
And, although those face masks may have the appearance of benign medical grade, they are not.
The article explains, “But face coverings designed for use by the general public are not regulated and fail to meet the same standards as medical-grade PPE.”
The article also explains that that clean smell is a toxic chemical,
Professor Michael Braungart, director at the Hamburg Environmental Institute, “Formaldehyde is the chemical which gives the ‘clean’ smell when a new pack of masks is opened. He also found aniline, a known carcinogen.”
And Professor Braungart explained the hidden dangers of the blue masks, “‘In the case of the blue-colored surgical masks, we found cobalt – which can be used as a blue dye. “