January 18, 2022

FFP2 graphene masks to be avoided as a precaution according to ANSES

The Health Security Agency points to a “lack of information on graphene used by manufacturers and on the toxicity of this substance, in particular in the long term”.

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They would be potentially toxic. FFP2 masks containing graphene, already temporarily suspended in France, should be avoided as a precaution, for lack of data on the toxicity of this synthetic material, judges Tuesday, December 14 the health security agency Anses.

“ANSES recommends that public authorities give priority to the marketing or making available of masks without graphene”, notes the agency in a press release after an expertise requested by the General Directorate of Health (which depends on the ministry).

In April, Canada was the first country to highlight the potential risks of FFP2 (or KN95, the North American equivalent) masks containing graphene. He had removed as a precaution the graphene masks manufactured by the Chinese company Shandong Shengquan New Materials, then suspected of causing lung problems.

After analysis, Canada finally reauthorized these masks in July, believing that they did not present a proven risk.

In the meantime, the French authorities had asked in May to no longer use FFP2 graphene masks, distributed in particular to health professionals. This suspension was decided upon pending the risk assessment by ANSES.

Although the data available “do not highlight worrying exposure situations”, ANSES judges “impossible to assess the risk to health”. She notes indeed a “lack of information on the graphene used by manufacturers and on the toxicity of this substance, in particular in the long term”. This is why she considers it preferable to avoid this type of mask as a precaution.