Follow the Science

The highest level of scientific evidence over the last 100 years clearly demonstrates that masks do not stop the spread of respiratory viruses in the community, and not only that, they put our health at risk.

Read mask research summary

Mandates Should Be Evidence Based

With so much emphasis on masks, it would be easy to assume that there is strong science supporting mask policies. Strangely, there is not strong scientific evidence for masks preventing respiratory viruses. To quote the researchers themselves, the data in favor of masks is "weak," "lacking statistical significance," and "low certainty of evidence."  On the other hand, the research that concluded masks don't prevent respiratory viruses is abundant, high quality of evidence, consistent across numerous studies, and spans 100 years. The difference between the actual data and the mask mandates is striking and of concern.  Read more...


Below are some telling quotes from the research and experts around the world. To see the full research summary, click here

We did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.

Xiao J, et al. Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures. Emerging Infectious Disease. May 2020.

Surgical mask wearing among individuals in non-healthcare settings is not significantly associated with reduction in [acute respiratory illness] incidence in this meta-review.

Wang Min Xian, et al. Effectiveness of Surgical Face Masks in Reducing Acute Respiratory Infections in Non-Healthcare Settings: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in Medicine. September 2020.

It is a testimony to the power of propaganda, institutional capture, and the desire to socially conform that masking of the general population has successfully been imposed during the COVID-19 era. The harms from this imposition are palpable, and potentially long-term and gargantuan, not the least of which is the psychological training of the public to comply with an absurd measure that has direct personal negative impact. [In my research paper] I review the mounting evidence of the obvious: Universal masking harms people and society, without any detectable benefit.

Denis Rancourt, PhD
Researcher, Ontario Civil Liberties Association, member scientist, Pandemics: Data & Analytics Group (PANDA)

Evidence that masking as a source [of] control results in any material reduction in transmission was scant, anecdotal, and, in the overall, lacking… [and mandatory masking] is the exact opposite of being reasonable.

Hospital arbitrator in a dispute between The Ontario Nurses’ Association and the Toronto Academic Health Science Network

Masks are utterly useless. Masks are simply virtue-signalling… It’s utterly ridiculous seeing these unfortunate, uneducated people — I’m not saying that in a pejorative sense — walking around like lemmings, obeying without any knowledge base, to put the mask on their face.

Dr Roger Hodkinson, pathologist, certified with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

200,000 people would have to wear a mask fully for a week to prevent one infection.

Dr Carl Heneghan, British Physician, Clinical Epidemiologist, Fellow of Kellogg College, Director of the University of Oxford's Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, and Editor-in-Chief of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine

At the present time, the widespread use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence and there are potential benefits and harms to consider.

World Health Organization, Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19, Interim guidance, 5 June 2020 (still the current guidance as of Feb 6, 2021)

Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection.

MacIntyre CR, et al. A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers. BMJ Open 2015

By wearing a mask, the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain.

Russell Blaylock MD

Surgical masks are not designed for use as particulate respirators and do not provide as much protection as an N-95 respirator. Most surgical masks do not effectively filter small particles from air and do not prevent leakage around the edge of the mask when the user inhales.

Surgical and handmade masks, and face shields, generate significant backward leakage jets that have the potential to disperse virus-laden fluid particles by several metres.

Viola I, et al. Face Coverings, Aerosol Dispersion and Mitigation of Virus Transmission Risk. Engineering in Medicine and Biology.

Compared to no masks there was no reduction of influenza-like illness (ILI) cases (Risk Ratio 0.93, 95%CI 0.83 to 1.05) or influenza (Risk Ratio 0.84, 95%CI 0.61-1.17) for masks in the general population, nor in healthcare workers (Risk Ratio 0.37, 95%CI 0.05 to 2.50).

Jefferson T, et al. Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses. Part 1 - Face masks, eye protection and person distancing: systematic review and meta-analysis. MedRxiv April 2020.

Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death.

Vainshelboim B. “Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis”. Medical Hypotheses. January 2021.

The appearance of ‘de novo’ headache is associated with the use of filter masks and is more frequent in certain healthcare workers, causing a greater occupational, family, personal and social impact.

Ramirez-Moreno JM, et al. “Mask-associated ‘de novo’ headache in healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic”. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. December 2020.

Pooled results from randomized trials did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the use of medical / surgical masks during seasonal influenza. There were no clear differences between the use of medical / surgical masks compared to N95 / P2 respirators in healthcare workers when used in routine care to reduce respiratory viral infection.

Jefferson T, et al. Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD006207. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006207.pub5. 

To deprive a child's or an adolescent's brain from oxygen, or to restrict it in any way, is not only dangerous to their health, it is absolutely criminal. Oxygen deficiency inhibits the development of the brain, and the damage that has taken place as a result CANNOT be reversed.

Dr Margarite Griesz-Brisson MD, PhD, world renowned neurologist, warning about the dangers of masks

Those who insist that universal mask usage is absolutely proven to be effective at controlling the spread of this virus and is universally recommended by “the science” are ignoring the published evidence to the contrary. One could say they are propagating false and misleading information; some might even call that, using a phrase from the JAMA opinion, “subverting science."

Scott Atlas, MD

“The unintended consequences of unequivocal advocacy of a contested position go beyond the downsides of policy implementation: they include the potential erosion of trust in science as a field in general, when the measures put forward by science fail to live up to their promise, or result in problems that could be or had been anticipated.”

Mask mandates are not supported by the scientific data … there is no scientific evidence that mask mandates work to slow the spread of the disease.

Jay Bhattacharya MD, Professor of Medicine, Stanford University

In a mask experiment from 2020, significant impaired thinking (p < 0.03) and impaired concentration (p < 0.02) were found for all mask types used (fabric, surgical and N95 masks) after only 100 min of wearing the mask. 

Kisielinski K, et al. Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4344. 

There was no reduction in per-population daily mortality, hospital bed, ICU bed, or ventilator occupancy of COVID-19-positive patients attributable to the implementation of a mask-wearing mandate.

Schauer SG, et al. Analysis of the Effects of COVID-19 Mask Mandates on Hospital Resource Consumption and Mortality at the County Level. South Med J. 2021 Sep;114(9):597-602.

Mask mandates and use are not associated with slower state-level COVID19 spread during COVID19 growth surges.

The available clinical evidence of facemask efficacy is of low quality and the best available clinical evidence has mostly failed to show efficacy, with fourteen of sixteen identified randomized controlled trials comparing face masks to no mask controls failing to find statistically significant benefit in the intent‐​to‐​treat populations.

Over the past year, referrals to speech and language therapists have increased by between 25 and 300%, depending on locale. Younger children have suffered a 24% cognitive decline, along with a 22 IQ-point loss among infants, due to a combination of prolonged isolation, anti-social distancing, and universal masking of faces. This catastrophe is man-made and due entirely to the failings of adults. 

Mandates in schools were not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 incidence or transmission, suggesting that this intervention was not effective.

Coma E, et al. Unravelling the Role of the Mandatory Use of Face Covering Masks for the Control of SARS-CoV-2 in Schools: A Quasi-Experimental Study Nested in a Population-Based Cohort in Catalonia (Spain) (March 1, 2022). Available at SSRN

These findings suggest that mask use might pose a yet unknown threat to the user instead of protecting them, making mask mandates a debatable epidemiologic intervention. The cause of this trend is explained herein using the “Foegen effect” theory; that is, deep re-inhalation of hypercondensed droplets or pure virions caught in facemasks as droplets can worsen prognosis and might be linked to long-term effects of COVID-19 infection.

Fögen, Zacharias MD∗ The Foegen effect, Medicine: February 18, 2022 - Volume 101 - Issue 7 - p e28924 doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000028924  

Our findings contribute to a growing body of literature which suggests school-based mask mandates have limited to no impact on the case rates of COVID-19 among K-12 students.

Neeraj Sood, et al. Association between School Mask Mandates and SARS-CoV-2 Student Infections: Evidence from a Natural Experiment of Neighboring K-12 Districts in North Dakota, 01 July 2022, PREPRINT (Version 1) available at Research Square []

Use of face masks did not impact COVID-19 incidence among 10–12-year-olds in Finland.

Juutinen A, et al. Use of face masks did not impact COVID-19 incidence among 10–12-year-olds in Finland doi:

We propose that immunocompromised people should avoid repeated use of masks to prevent microbial infection.

Park AM, et al. Bacterial and fungal isolation from face masks under the COVID-19 pandemic. Sci Rep 12, 11361 (2022).

A Cochrane meta analysis of the research conducted with surgeons and masks concluded, "It is unclear whether the wearing of surgical face masks by members of the surgical teamhas any impact on surgical wound infection rates for patients undergoing clean surgery." 

Vincent M, et al. Disposable surgical face masks for preventing surgical wound infection in clean surgery. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Apr 26;4(4):CD002929. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD002929.pub3. PMID: 27115326; PMCID: PMC7138271.

We found no significant differences in SARS-CoV-2 transmission due to FCM mandates in Catalonian schools. Instead, age was the most important factor in explaining the transmission risk for children attending school.

Coma E, et al. Unravelling the role of the mandatory use of face covering masks for the control of SARS-CoV-2 in schools: a quasi-experimental study nested in a population-based cohort in Catalonia (Spain)Archives of Disease in Childhood Published Online First: 23 August 2022. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2022-324172

Although titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a suspected human carcinogen when inhaled, fiber-grade TiO2 (nano)particles were demonstrated in synthetic textile fibers of face masks intended for the general public.

Verleysen E, et al. Titanium dioxide particles frequently present in face masks intended for general use require regulatory control. Sci Rep 12, 2529 (2022).

...incorporating a larger sample and longer period showed no significant relationship between mask mandates and case rates.

Chandra, Ambarish and Høeg, Tracy Beth, Revisiting Pediatric COVID-19 Cases in Counties With and Without School Mask Requirements—United States, July 1—October 20 2021.

The toxicity of some of the chemicals found and the postulated risks of the rest of the present particles and molecules, raises the question of whether disposable plastic face masks are safe to be used on a daily basis and what consequences are to be expected after their disposal into the environment.

Sullivan GL, et al. An investigation into the leaching of micro and nano particles and chemical pollutants from disposable face masks - linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, Water Research, Volume 196, 2021, 117033, ISSN 0043-1354,

There is a possible negative impact risk by imposing extended mask mandates especially for vulnerable subgroups. Circumstantial evidence exists that extended mask use may be related to current observations of stillbirths and to reduced verbal motor and overall cognitive performance in children born during the pandemic. A need exists to reconsider mask mandates.

Kisielinski K, et al. "Possible toxicity of chronic carbon dioxide exposure associated with face mask use, particularly in pregnant women, children and adolescents – A scoping review" Open AccessPublished:March 02, 2023DOI:

However, as we have seen, harms of masking are clearly substantial and even potentially serious, while benefits are unestablished.

Kevin Bass PhD MS @kevinnbass 

The pooled results of RCTs did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the use of medical/surgical masks.

Jefferson T, et al. Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2023 Jan 30;1(1):CD006207. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006207.pub6. PMID: 36715243; PMCID: PMC9885521.

"Fresh air has around 0.04% CO2, while wearing masks more than 5 min bears a possible chronic exposure to carbon dioxide of 1.41% to 3.2% of the inhaled air...With significant impact on three readout parameters (morphological, functional, marker) this chronic 0.3% CO2 exposure has to be defined as being toxic."

Kisielinski K, et al. Possible toxicity of chronic carbon dioxide exposure associated with face mask use, particularly in pregnant women, children and adolescents - A scoping review. Heliyon. 2023 Apr;9(4):e14117. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e14117. Epub 2023 Mar 3. PMID: 37057051; PMCID: PMC9981272.

Follow The Mask Science