Is breathing your own air while wearing a mask bad for you?
A lot of people are out of their houses trying to get some fresh air now that the weather is nicer, and it might seem like wearing a mask all the time means the air you’re getting isn’t so fresh.
But wearing a mask outside is just fine for you. There’s no need for you to be concerned that you’re breathing too much of your own carbon dioxide.
“It’s one of those myths that circulates a lot on social media,” Dr. Robert Citronberg, director of infectious disease at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, said during a Facebook Live event. “And I can tell you there’s no scientific evidence that says wearing a mask is harmful in terms of retaining carbon dioxide.”
In fact, wearing a mask still is one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19. A study published in The Lancet further supported it. “The use of face masks was protective for both health-care workers and people in the community exposed to infection,” the study reports.
Wearing a mask helps you protect other people avoid COVID-19, and the spread of the virus could be greatly reduced if everyone does it. Plus, breathing in them doesn’t harm you, even for long periods of time. Think of all the health care workers who go through long shifts wearing masks throughout.
“So I hate to see people not wear masks just because of that particular concern,” Dr. Citronberg says.
Check out our COVID-19 Info Center to learn more about the virus.
About the Author
Mike Riopell, health enews contributor, is a media relations coordinator with Advocate Aurora Health. He previously worked as a reporter and editor covering politics and government for the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and Bloomington Pantagraph, among others. He enjoys bicycles, home repair, flannel shirts and being outside.