Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Has OSHA Even Tested to Determine If Mask Wearing is Safe?

After an extended back and forth phone exchange with various Occupational Safety and Health Administration employees, including an employee who pretended she couldn't hear me on the phone, an OSHA spokesperson sent a response to my emailed question about mask-wearing.

My question:
According to the USDA (https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/bf97edac-77be-4442-aea4-9d2615f376e0/Carbon-Dioxide.pdf?MOD=AJPERES)  OSHA has established a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for CO2 of 5,000 parts per million (ppm) (0.5% CO2 in air) averaged over an 8-hour work day (time-weighted average orTWA.)

Most retail stores are now requiring employees wear masks throughout their shifts.

From what I understand, this would increase CO2 exposure far in excess of 5,000 ppm.

Are retailers and other businesses requiring the wearing of masks violating OHSA PEL?
From an OSHA spokesperson, I received the following statement which I consider a non-answer answer to my core question. "Not aware" of dangers is not saying there aren't dangers.:
OSHA is not aware of circumstances in which the use of cloth face coverings would result in exposure to CO2 approaching the PEL —particularly under normal use conditions in most work environments — nor of evidence suggesting that cloth face coverings restrict normal gas exchange. OSHA has cautioned that, with the proliferation of masks (of both the surgical variety and improvised or commercially manufactured cloth options), employers should consider how their use in atypical work environments could affect worker health and safety. There may be additional considerations beyond masks’ intended use as source control when workers are performing laborious tasks, working with chemicals, wearing them for long periods, or during other activities in which masks would not typically be worn except due to the pandemic.

Cloth face coverings are intended to protect other people from the wearer’s potentially infectious respiratory droplets. OSHA is not and has not suggested that they are ineffective for that purpose. As the nation’s worker protection authority, the agency has said that when workers themselves need protection from infectious disease and other hazards in the work environment, employers need to implement effective control measures and that cloth masks do not meet that bar.

Visit OSHA’s COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page for answers regarding cloth face coverings.
I attempted to get closer to the heart of the matter with these follow-up questions:
Thank you for your response.
Has OSHA conducted any tests regarding the level of carbon dioxide retained by masks in front of the nose when masks are worn?
Has OSHA tested to determine the levels of carbon dioxide and ethanol inhaled because of mask-wearing?
There has been no response since I posed these follow up questions six days ago and I sent two follow-ups to the email with these questions. It is radio silence.

Does OSHA have any idea if mask wearing for extended periods is safe?

The claim that no "evidence suggesting that cloth face coverings restrict normal gas exchange" seems shaky.  OSHA may not be aware of non-normal gas exchange but anyone wearing a cloth mask can tell you "normal" gas exchange is not occurring.

And "not aware of exposure approaching PEL" is not an answer to whether they have tested to determine what the carbon dioxide levels are when wearing various types of face masks.

It is a time for a congressman to ask OSHA executives some serious questions under oath. Who is going to step up?

Tens of millions are wearing masks and some at work for extended hours. It is time that OSHA provides some detailed answers as to whether they have factual evidence regarding the safety of masks or the lack thereof---or if they are simply dodging the questions for political reasons.



  1. You wrote this to OSHA, Robert? What had you go that route? Excellent btw. Gives me some ideas. Thanks!

    1. Idc what osha thinks except when it helps the cause of liberty and it can do so by contradicting the mask narrative by reporting on the obvious health risks of these masks!!!! Not surprised with their non-answer!

  2. No evidence that masks restrict normal gas exchange...but isn't that the whole point of wearing a mask??...to restrict the exchange of gases that contain the virus?? Is OSHA simply coming right out and saying that masks don't do anything to prevent the transfer of a virus without even realizing it?

  3. This is both very interesting and wholly unsurprising...


  4. The Ontario Civil Liberties Association has written to WHO requesting they rescind their mask recommendations. The OCLA's letter is linked to from their site here. The letter provides a detailed technical summary of the case against mask mandates, including discussion of safety factors. (The OCLA letter is based on work by Denis Rancourt. There is a 'pro-mask' critique of Rancourt's work here).)

  5. They are getting around the OSHA requirements by requiring "face masks" rather than face piece respirators. "Face masks" are not actually considered PPE and, therefore, are not covered under the OSHA 29CFR1910.134 requirements. If real PPE was required, every business would have to provide it, provide training for its use, have a designated respiratory program administrator and keep records of it effectiveness.