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After recalling graphene-coated masks out of safety concerns, Health Canada says some models can come back on the market

These grey and blue face masks contain nano graphene and was distributed to workers in Quebec. (New Frontiers School Board/ Facebook) These grey and blue face masks contain nano graphene and was distributed to workers in Quebec. (New Frontiers School Board/ Facebook)

Health Canada is redacting their advice not to use a certain brand of graphene-containing face masks, citing reviewed evidence backing the masks' safety, it was announced Tuesday.

Four models of masks from the manufacturer Shandong Shengquan New Materials Co. Ltd. (SSNM) — as well as numerous models from other manufacturers — were recalled in late March because of their graphene oxide-coating. It was thought at the time that masks containing graphene, a substance linked to lung disease, may be harmful to the wearer.

Now, Health Canada has asserted that “biomass graphene particles are not shed from [SSNM] masks in quantities that are likely to cause adverse lung effects,” according to a press release.

Health Canada is permitting SSNM masks containing graphene to be sold in Canada again, but the same is not true for graphene-containing masks produced by any other manufacturer.

“Companies wishing to sell graphene masks must first provide evidence to Health Canada demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of their models, as the risks with using graphene masks may vary depending on mask design,” the press release states.

Health Canada said they decided to allow graphene-containing SSNM masks back on the market after reviewing the current research on the subject, as well as data provided by SSNM related to the amount of graphene contained within its masks.

Before graphene-containing masks were recalled last spring, millions of them were distributed by the province to schools, where they were required to wear them for months. The masks were also handed out to transit workers by the Société de Transport de Montréal (SPVM).

Health Canada wasn’t even aware that the masks had been imported into Canada until a Montreal mother emailed them out of concern for the health of her son and his schoolmates.

The masks entered the country under Health Canada’s nose because of a "misstep on the supply chain" and an emergency order to facilitate the importation of COVID-related goods, CTV uncovered in April.

At the time, one Quebec kindergarten teacher told CTV she was experiencing increased fatigue and headaches, stating that wearing the mask felt like “breathing in cat hair” — although currently there is no scientific evidence linking these symptoms to the use of graphene-coated masks. Top Stories

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