A study funded by a German public charity and led by Harald Walach, Ph.D., from the Poznan University of the Medical Sciences, Pediatric Clinic, warns that face masks may raise the risk of stillbirths, testicular dysfunction and cognitive decline due to build-up of carbon dioxide.
Young children may have been hurt by wearing masks over the past year as they may have been exposed to unsafe carbon dioxide levels in minutes, the study found.
Researchers from Germany, Poland, and Austria believe wearing masks might have caused more harm than good. They believe masks create a pocket of dead space between the mouth and mask, which traps the toxic gas.
The researchers found in one study that just 0.3 percent of prolonged CO2 exposure to both pregnant rats and young mice led to brain damage, heightened anxiety, and poorer memory. Another found that male mice exposed to 2.5 percent CO2 for four hours — equal to 0.5 percent for humans — destroyed testicular cells and sperm. A third study found that three percent CO2 (the equivalent of 0.8 percent for humans) in pregnant rats caused stillbirth and birth defects, reports Daily Mail.
Alluding to the surge in stillbirths during the pandemic, the German researchers said: “Circumstantial evidence exists that popular mask use may be related to current observations of a significant rise of 28 percent to 33 percent in stillbirths worldwide.”
“[And] reduced verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance of two full standard deviations in scores in children born during the pandemic,” the researchers wrote in the paper, published in the journal Heliyon.
The study could not prove a direct correlation.