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Health Canada authorizes sale of face masks containing graphene following recall

TORONTO — Health Canada says the sale of certain face masks that were recalled for containing graphene can resume after the agency assessed the masks and found “no health risks of concern.”

Health Canada issued an advisory in April asking all distributors selling masks with graphene or biomass graphene to recall their products over potential inhalation risks.

Graphene is comprised of a single layer of carbon atoms and is considered a nanomaterial, meaning it is made of tiny particles, and is reported to have “antiviral and antibacterial properties,” according to Health Canada.

During a preliminary assessment, the agency identified some potential for inhaled graphene particles to cause lung effects, such as inflammation, in animals.

In an updated advisory issued Thursday, Health Canada said it assessed four face mask models produced by Shandong Shengquan New Materials and found that the biomass graphene didn’t pose a health risk to wearers.

“As a result, given the evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of these products, Health Canada is permitting the sale of the four Shandong Shengquan New Materials Co. Ltd. mask models to resume in Canada,” the agency said in the updated advisory.

Health Canada said it determined that the “filtration performance” of these masks meets the performance standard listed on the label. However, the agency said it did not find evidence that the biomass graphene in these masks provided any additional antimicrobial or antiviral protection.

The agency noted that no other face masks containing graphene are currently permitted for sale in Canada. If additional graphene masks are approved, Health Canada will notify Canadians.

“Companies wishing to sell graphene masks must first provide evidence to Health Canada demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of their models, as the risks with using graphene masks may vary depending on mask design,” the agency said.

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