Following recent concerns surrounding the use of graphene in face masks and Health Canada's warnings of "a potential that wearers could inhale graphene particles from some masks, which may pose health risks", several companies involved in the production of such masks released their comments on the matter.
Zen Graphene Solutions, which developed a graphene-based virucidal ink and reported that it has a 99% effectiveness against COVID-19, released a statement saying that it is aware of the recent claims, and "is aligned and supportive of the steps taken to regulate the use of graphene and remove products that are unsafe for the public". It went on to state that its own products have been found safe in various "comprehensive testing". Later on, Zen also submitted various data requested by Health Canada - including final results received from Nucro-Technics on skin irritation and sensitivity that confirmed ZENGuard™ did not lead to any irritation or sensitivity.
NanoXplore, also a Canadian company, provided an update on the regulatory approval of its GrapheneBlack material. It stated that on September 4, 2020, it received approval under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to manufacture and sell its GrapheneBlack in any amount in Canada, for commercial uses as an additive in plastics, thermosetting composites, paints and coatings and as a component of battery electrodes. NanoXplore also listed the various tests done on its materials, that have reportedly "shown no adverse effect to animal skin and lung and most importantly, no gene mutation or DNA damage was observed in the in-vivo or in-vitro genotoxicity tests via inhalation".
From our point of view, it is important to note that this whole issue seems to have started following the use of a specific brand of graphene masks. Remember there are many types of graphene materials and processes, and not all graphene masks are the same. While Graphene-Info fully supports adhering to health guidelines and recommendations, we also know how easy it is to create a bad reputation for an entire industry. We feel that if it is indeed just a specific brand or product that is problematic - then it should not adversely affect the rest of the industry.
It is not for us to declare other masks as safe or unsafe, but this is at least noteworthy.
We feel that the panic may be a bit too general, and of course further inquiries are in order, but health concerns should be taken seriously - and we will continue to monitor this issue.
In addition, our friend and colleague, Terrance Barkan, recently released an interesting statement on this matter on his platform - The Graphene Council. Click here to read it.