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Could wearing a cloth mask put you at risk for increased levels of CO2?

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Posted at 5:24 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 21:52:36-04

KALISPELL — Medical officials encourage individuals to continue wearing masks and that those masks have no negative health effects on healthy people.

Dr. Doug Nelson, chief medical officer at Kalispell Regional Hospital, told MTN that there is no scientific evidence of negative health effects of wearing a cloth mask for healthy individuals. He explained that while long-term use of an N95 mask could cause face sores, there's no negative effect to the lungs.

He added that while a small amount of CO2 is recycled while wearing a mask this amount isn't large enough to effect people.

However, he says there is a small number of people that could notice a small difference while wearing a mask

"For those that have COPD, chronic obstructive pulminary disease, also known as emphysema, who very much live on the edge with a high CO2 level all the time and a low oxygen level, that might have a very small effect in that situation," said Dr. Nelson. "They might feel subjectively more short of breath. But, for the vast majority of people who don't have a chronic lung disease, no effect."

Dr. Nelson wants to remind people to continue wearing masks in public to keep yourself and others safe and to continue practicing social distancing.