FACT CHECK: Does Wearing A Face Mask For 8 Hours Cause Pleurisy?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

A viral Facebook post shared over 4,300 times claims wearing a mask for eight hours causes pleurisy.

Verdict: False

Medical experts say there is no truth to the claim that wearing a face mask for an extended period will cause pleurisy.

Fact Check:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people wear face coverings in public settings to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Other health officials have also continued to urge, and at times mandate, citizens to wear them amid some states experiencing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

A viral post, which includes a diagram of a lung with inflamed tissue, claims wearing a face mask for “8 hours a day” causes pleurisy, a condition in which the tissue layers lining the lungs become inflamed. Over 4,300 Facebook users have shared the post as of press time.

However, medical experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation that face masks don’t pose such a risk. (RELATED: Did Bill Gates Patent A ‘CV19-N95’ Face Mask Design Years Before The COVID-19 Pandemic?)

“It’s not true,” said Dr. Naftali Kaminski, chief of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, in an email to the DCNF. “Masks have been commonly used for decades in health care and other settings and there are no reports of such cases.”

Dr. William Bailey, founder of the Lung Health Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told the DCNF that the post’s claim was “not true.”

“I don’t see a medically plausible mechanism for mask wearing to cause pleurisy,” Albert Rizzo, chief medical officer at the American Lung Association, also told The Associated Press.

Multiple medical websites list autoimmune disorders, lung cancer, blood clots, rib fractures and sickle cell anemia, as well as viral, bacterial and fungal infections, as causes of pleurisy, not face masks. The Pulmonary Associates of Mobile website actually recommends wearing a face mask to help prevent pleurisy caused by harmful or irritating particles in certain work environments.

This isn’t the first time Facebook users have shared misinformation related to the safety of face masks. Fact-checkers have previously debunked claims about face masks causing fungal pneumonia and low blood oxygen levels.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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