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Hospital study finds that masks do not prevent oxygen from entering the body

'Our hope is these findings will reassure people that their body is able to adequately get oxygen in and carbon dioxide out while wearing a face covering.'

CLEVELAND — A new study out of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital (UH Rainbow) shows that masks do not stop the body from getting the oxygen required to function. 

According to a press release from UH Rainbow, researchers found that whether the mask worn is cloth or surgical, it does not restrict oxygen from entering the body.

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Scientists studied heart rate, carbon dioxide tension, and oxygen levels in adult volunteers after 10 minutes of various stages of activity. The researchers monitored three different levels, including sitting and then walking without a mask, sitting and then walking with a cloth mask, and finally, sitting and then walking with a surgical mask. 

Results show that all 50 participants maintained proper levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide, with or without the mask. 

In addition, 32-percent of the participants told researchers that they consider themselves to have asthma. 

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“We know face masks help to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but we also know people have concerns of discomfort or impaired breathing while wearing them,” said Dr. Steven L. Shein, MD, Division Chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and principal investigator for this study. “Our hope is these findings will reassure people that their body is able to adequately get oxygen in and carbon dioxide out while wearing a face covering.”

You can find the full results of the study here