OSHA Medical factors and conditions impacting the use of face masks

C. Medical Factors and Conditions

….

The medical evaluation is designed to identify general medical conditions that place employees who use respirators at risk of serious medical consequences. Medical conditions known to compromise an employee’s ability to tolerate respirator-, job-, and workplace-related physiological stress include: cardiovascular and respiratory diseases (e.g., a history of high blood pressure, angina, heart attack, cardiac arrhythmias, stroke, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema); reduced pulmonary function caused by other factors (e.g., smoking or prior exposure to respiratory hazards); neurological or musculoskeletal disorders (e.g., ringing in the ears, epilepsy, lower back pain); impaired sensory function (e.g., perforated ear drums, reduced or absent ability to smell); and psychological disorders (e.g., claustrophobia and severe anxiety).

Source: OSHA Technical Manual (OTM) | Section VIII: Chapter 2: Respiratory Protection | Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Not everyone can wear a face mask, and if they can, it may depend on the type of face mask.

The above is from the OSHA medical evaluation guidelines to determine who can or should not make use of a respirator-type mask in the work place. Some of the conditions described also apply to surgical and cloth masks. The latter, depending on construction, can result in breathing problems (due to multiple layers) and higher infection rates (due to not being laundered at least each day if not more often), plus skin irritation and acne breakouts.

This is how you solve the medical mask shortage

DERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHP) – The Hershey Company announced Friday that it is committing $1 million to acquire, install and staff a new manufacturing line dedicated to producing face masks.

The new line, which will be capable of producing up to 45,000 masks per day, will start operating near the end of May.

Source: The Hershey Company commits $1 million to production of disposable face masks | KATU

That’s a small production size but definitely higher output than manual/volunteer labor hand sewing operations.

Do HEPA Vacuum bags contain fiberglass?

A UK doctor posted a Youtube video claiming that HEPA vacuum filter bags contain fiberglass. That claim has since been disputed by many.

Further, the UK doctor, Simon Freilich, has backed off his claims.

After some pushback from YouTube viewers saying the bags they’d checked didn’t have dangerous glass fibers in them, Freilich posted that he couldn’t research “every possible type” and that there “are clearly various types of filters and materials out on the market.”

https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2020/04/is-it-safe-to-make-a-diy-mask-out-of-a-vacuum-bag-debate-erupts.html

Vacuum bag makers say they have never used fiberglass materials.

Many have to say “not suitable for any other uses” (or similar) due to liability concerns. If someone uses a product in a way that the manufacturer has not tested, the manufacturer does not wish to be accused of liability for any harm that may occur.

Freilich said he got his info from an unnamed random Youtube video – because, you know, social media is a highly reliable source of information.

Freilich has updated his own social media with this:

The unfortunate reality, having looked through the research, is that home made masks are only marginally better than no masks at all, and the effects are difficult to isolate as usually a range of measures are simultaneously enacted. Hence the best protection is to stay away from other people, as far as possible. Obviously, this is difficult for many but that’s literally the best method.

He acknowledged that he has no expertise in mask design or materials.

What happened: a social media post used the “appeal to authority” method of argument and then went viral and got picked up by the news media.

We tend to treat “facts” promoted by authorities, “experts”, celebrities and politicians as truth. As Bertrand Russell said (I’m paraphrasing): facts are true (or false) regardless of who says they are true or false. But most people fall for the “appeal to authority” argument which is why it is one of the top most used forms of persuasion. Russell viewed such arguments as the worst form of argument possible and insisted on facts and logic as the only valid forms of argument.

Once Doctor Freilich posted his video, his “assertion” became a “fact”. Once established as “fact” it is very difficult to undo the public perception of that topic. In this way, untrue “facts” become “true facts”, even though they are not true.

Not April 1st: Valley County Public Health, Montana, orders all out of county residents to wear pink arm bands

Many people wonder why there are protests against lockdown/house arrests without stopping to ask: perhaps its because of the incoherent, inconsistent public messaging. It is not the public’s fault they are confused – and angry.

The Valley County Health Department, Montana, ordered all non-residents to wear pink arm bands when in public. When challenged on that, they then publicly lied about it.

These public health officials acted as authoritarian tyrants, and as you will see below, after backing off, they lied about. Why is it even a question as to why there are protests against lock downs and house arrest?

Screen snap shot of the original flyer, cross posted from here.

Valley County Health Department posted the following on their Facebook page. And lied about it. Read the wording above and then compare to their false claim that “seemingly indicated such wrist bands are required for out of county individuals” and they did not require businesses to call law enforcement. The plain language of the poster was clear – not “seemingly indicated”. Public health officials again caught lying.

Public health officials have zero credibility. Why do they keep doing this? These actions are not serving anyone.

Press Release from the Valley County CommissionersThe Valley County Commissioners would like to apologize, and issue…

Posted by Valley County Health Department on Monday, April 20, 2020

Press Release from the Valley County Commissioners

The Valley County Commissioners would like to apologize, and issue clarification, regarding the current health orders and obligations that apply to visitors from outside Valley County.

In response to significant public concern regarding out of county contractors who are present in our communities for essential work purposes, one of the companies partnered with the County Health Officer to wear pink wrist bands following their 14- day quarantine. This was implemented to help alleviate community concerns about the potential spread of COVID-19. These bands are not government issued and are not a part of any of the current health orders in place. Rather, they are a good faith effort by these contractors to try to put the community at ease.

In a break-down of our internal processes, a flier went out to local business owners seemingly indicating such wrist bands are required for out of county individuals, and that local business owners were obligated to report violations of the health orders. That is not the intent of Valley County, and that flier has been rescinded.

We apologize, again, for any confusion this has caused. We are addressing our internal processes and want to thank all community members for continuing to work with us during this unprecedented time.

Paul Tweten

John Fahlgren

Mary Armstrong

Experts slam UW’s IHME model, saying it should not be used for public policy

As I noted, every page on their web site should say “For Entertainment Purposes Only”:

Epidemiologists are criticizing an influential coronavirus model as flawed and warning against relying on it as the basis for government decision-making.

Source: Influential Covid-19 model shouldn’t guide U.S. policies, critics say – STAT

This: First NIH approved 3D printed respirator mask

Maker Mask’s device received certification by the National Institutes of Health for COVID-19 response.

Source: As 3D printing of protective gear ramps up, a free mask designed in Seattle is the first of its kind to get federal approval | The Seattle Times

This is an actual certified device, not a random piece of cloth that merely resembles a medical face mask “as seen on TV”.

This is way better than the asinine recommendations of public health “officials” to use random bits of cloth.

Would you be willing to stand near a confirmed Covid-19 patient that is only wearing a non-standard, home made, ill fitting, unapproved, face mask made by a complete stranger whose skills you do not know?

That, literally, is what the CDC was directing you to do.

Web site attacks

This blog has received over 300 probing attacks from an IP address in Singapore that is owned by a well known Chinese electronics manufacturer.

Why?

While it could be “harmless” it appears to be probing the site for particular files (that do not exist). That does not seem harmless. As a consequence I have blocked an entire range of x.y.z.* addresses from accessing this blog. What little I can find suggests it is a “bad bot” run amok.