WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Kourtney Kardashian posted a medical advisory on Instagram, saying that surgical masks contain PTFE that can cause cancer and “influenza-like symptoms.”
- The American Cancer Society, cited in the post as the source of information, denounced the claims.
- The only way the chemical may be harmful is if it releases fumes- and that only happens when the object with PTFE is heated above 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fact-checking is important, especially when you’re a Kardashian with over 102 million followers on Instagram. Kourtney Kardashian, 41, is receiving much criticism for claims alleging that surgical masks can cause cancer.
The blurb was posted on Halloween, part of it reads, “Those Blue Masks Mandated at grocery stores & airplanes are made of PTFE, a carcinogen made of synthetic fluoride.”
The warning about PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene)- a chemical used in Teflon and other nonstick cooking coatings- cited Cancer.org, saying the chemical “increases the risk” of various tumors, as well as high cholesterol, thyroid disease, and preeclampsia. “High exposure can cause influenza-like symptoms and hemorrhaging in the lungs, leading to suffocation.”
However, the American Cancer Society denounced the claim and that there is no evidence that PTFE in masks causes cancer. Chief medical and scientific officer of ACS, Dr. William Cance, added that he and thousands of professionals in health care “have been wearing masks for years” to prevent the spread of infections.
“There is no evidence to support the claim that the presence of PTFE in a mask causes cancer,” Dr. Cance told The Post.
Also, an article that was published in the ACS regarding cookware chemicals did not even explore PTFE. The story doesn’t even mention masks at all.
Masks are one of the simplest ways for us to do our part to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. This fact has been proven.
Additionally, PTFE can only be harmful and cause “influenza-like symptoms” if the object containing the chemical, is heated to at least 500 degrees Fahrenheit, causing the coating to break down and release fumes. So maybe don’t barbecue your masks.
Source: New York Post