On the basis of increased use of mouthpieces in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency has chosen to investigate 40 different fabric mouthpieces of different materials, for problematic chemical substances. The overall focus has been on chemicals with skin irritating, sensitizing, respiratory irritating or carcinogenic properties. In addition, leaching of environmentally hazardous substances has also been investigated.
The chemicals tested were fluorides (PFAS compounds), heavy metals, bisphenol A, formaldehyde, isocyanates and three chlorinated flame retardants. For all the substances examined, very small amounts have been identified, and for several substances only in a few of the substances studied. Overall, it was assessed that the small amounts are not expected to pose a health risk. This was examined in more detail in a risk assessment in relation to health for the substances antimony and formaldehyde, which were considered to be the most problematic substances in relation to danger and identified amounts. The risk assessment performed for antimony and formaldehyde shows that the identified concentrations are not expected to pose a health risk under realistic conditions of use. For formaldehyde, it can not be ruled out that particularly sensitive individuals may develop allergic reactions when using unwashed cloth bandages.
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