HEALTH experts are warning against the use of facemasks that contain a material known as graphene.

Graphene is a type of carbon that is being added to certain specific models of mask to improve anti-virus filtering, either in its pure form or as biomass.

It is said to be widely used in industry as it is extremely resistant, flexible and elastic, as well as transparent.

The facial protection devices containing graphene are currently being analysed by the Spanish Agency of Pharmacology and Sanitary Products (Aemps), as there is said to be a risk that the material could penetrate cell walls and enter the lungs when inhaled.

This could lead to lung injury, warn the experts.

According to the Aemps, facemasks with graphene have been located in several parts of Spain, including the Valencia region, where they have been issued to healthcare workers and teachers.

Iir Surgical Facemask
An example of IIR-type surgical mask

Canadian authorities were the first to raise the alarm, prompting their Spanish counterparts to call for the removal of these masks from circulation until they are properly analysed and given the all-clear.

Their request has been echoed by the national Ministry of Health, who has advised not to use surgical masks with graphene or graphene biomass.

These IIR-type facemasks are currently being marketed in Spain by the China-based company Shandong Shenquan New Materials Co. Ltd.

In another COVID-related development this week, US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer revealed that THREE doses of the COVID vaccine might be needed to achieve full, long-lasting immunity.

Speaking to North American media yesterday (Thursday April 15), company Chairman Albert Bourla said that a third booster dose would ‘probably’ be necessary up to one year after full inoculation to ensure complete immunisation from the disease.

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