Health Canada has issued a recall on disposable masks containing graphene and biomass graphene.
Preliminary assessment of available research suggests the tiny particles may cause early lung toxicity in animals. However, the risks to humans are not yet known.
In an advisory, the government agency says the masks have been used in schools and daycares by both adults and children. The masks have also been used in healthcare settings.
Health Canada has advised provinces and territories to halt use of the mask and has also directed distributors, importers and manufacturers to stop selling the masks.
Anyone who has worn a graphene mask should consult a healthcare provider if they exhibit symptoms such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
Last week, Health Canada also issued a warning about the use of SNN200642 face masks made by Metallifer as they contain “a potential for early lung toxicity.” Quebec immediately sent out a directive to various institutions to stop using the masks.
Prior to the warning, the SNN200642 masks were distributed to staff at Montreal schools, Revenue Quebec and the Montreal public transport system.
Staff in schools and the Société de Transport de Montréal previously complained about the masks, including reports of rashes and difficulty swallowing.