One model of mask distributed to Quebec schools and daycares may be dangerous for the lungs as they could contain a potentially toxic material, according to a directive sent out by the provincial government on Friday.
Radio-Canada has obtained documents showing Health Canada warned of the potential for “early pulmonary toxicity” from the SNN200642 masks which are made in China and sold and distributed by Métallifer, a Quebec-based manufacturer.
“If you have this type of mask in stock, we ask that you stop distributing them and keep them in a safe place now,” the provincial government says in the directive that was sent by three ministries: education, families and higher education.
Some daycare educators had been suspicious of these grey and blue masks for a while because they felt like they were swallowing cat hair while wearing them, Radio-Canada has learned.
Health Canada conducted a preliminary risk assessment which revealed a potential for early lung damage associated with inhalation of microscopic graphene particles. Graphene is a strong, very thin material that is used in fabrication, but it can be harmful to lungs when inhaled and can cause long-term health problems.