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).
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.