Blaylock: Face Masks Pose Serious Risks To The Healthy

Blaylock: Face Masks Pose Serious Risks To The Healthy

With the advent of the so-called COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a number of medical practices that have little or no scientific support as regards reducing the spread of this infection. One of these measures is the wearing of facial masks, either a surgical-type mask, bandana or N95 respirator mask.

When this pandemic began and we knew little about the virus itself or its epidemiologic behavior, it was assumed that it would behave, in terms of spread among communities, like other respiratory viruses. Little has presented itself after intense study of this virus and its behavior to change this perception.

This is somewhat of an unusual virus in that for the vast majority of people infected by the virus, one experiences either no illness (asymptomatic) or very little sickness. Only a very small number of people are at risk of a potentially serious outcome from the infection—mainly those with underlying serious medical conditions in conjunction with advanced age and frailty, those with immune compromising conditions and nursing home patients near the end of their lives. There is growing evidence that the treatment protocol issued to treating doctors by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mainly intubation and use of a ventilator (respirator), may have contributed significantly to the high death rate in these select individuals.

By wearing a mask, the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain.
Russell Blaylock, MD

As for the scientific support for the use of face mask, a recent careful examination of the literature, in which 17 of the best studies were analyzed, concluded that, “ None of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza infection.”1   Keep in mind, no studies have been done to demonstrate that either a cloth mask or the N95 mask has any effect on transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Any recommendations, therefore, have to be based on studies of influenza virus transmission. And, as you have seen, there is no conclusive evidence of their efficiency in controlling flu virus transmission.

It is also instructive to know that until recently, the CDC did not recommend wearing a face mask or covering of any kind, unless a person was known to be infected, that is, until recently. Non-infected people need not wear a mask. When a person has TB we have them wear a mask, not the entire community of non-infected. The recommendations by the CDC and the WHO are not based on any studies of this virus and have never been used to contain any other virus pandemic or epidemic in history.

Now that we have established that there is no scientific evidence necessitating the wearing of a face mask for prevention, are there dangers to wearing a face mask, especially for long periods? Several studies have indeed found significant problems with wearing such a mask. This can vary from headaches, to increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation, to hypoxia, all the way to serious life-threatening complications.

There is a difference between the N95 respirator mask and the surgical mask (cloth or paper mask) in terms of side effects. The N95 mask, which filters out 95% of particles with a median diameter >0.3 µm2 , because it impairs respiratory exchange (breathing) to a greater degree than a soft mask, and is more often associated with headaches. In one such study, researchers surveyed 212 healthcare workers (47 males and 165 females) asking about presence of headaches with N95 mask use, duration of the headaches, type of headaches and if the person had preexisting headaches.2

They found that about a third of the workers developed headaches with use of the mask, most had preexisting headaches that were worsened by the mask wearing, and 60% required pain medications for relief. As to the cause of the headaches, while straps and pressure from the mask could be causative, the bulk of the evidence points toward hypoxia and/or hypercapnia as the cause. That is, a reduction in blood oxygenation (hypoxia) or an elevation in blood C02 (hypercapnia). It is known that the N95 mask, if worn for hours, can reduce blood oxygenation as much as 20%, which can lead to a loss of consciousness, as happened to the hapless fellow driving around alone in his car wearing an N95 mask, causing him to pass out, and to crash his car and sustain injuries. I am sure that we have several cases of elderly individuals or any person with poor lung function passing out, hitting their head. This, of course, can lead to death.

A more recent study involving 159 healthcare workers aged 21 to 35 years of age found that 81% developed headaches from wearing a face mask.3   Some had pre-existing headaches that were precipitated by the masks. All felt like the headaches affected their work performance.

Unfortunately, no one is telling the frail elderly and those with lung diseases, such as COPD, emphysema or pulmonary fibrosis, of these dangers when wearing a facial mask of any kind—which can cause a severe worsening of lung function. This also includes lung cancer patients and people having had lung surgery, especially with partial resection or even the removal of a whole lung.

While most agree that the N95 mask can cause significant hypoxia and hypercapnia, another study of surgical masks found significant reductions in blood oxygen as well. In this study, researchers examined the blood oxygen levels in 53 surgeons using an oximeter. They measured blood oxygenation before surgery as well as at the end of surgeries.4 The researchers found that the mask reduced the blood oxygen levels (pa02) significantly. The longer the duration of wearing the mask, the greater the fall in blood oxygen levels.

The importance of these findings is that a drop in oxygen levels (hypoxia) is associated with an impairment in immunity. Studies have shown that hypoxia can inhibit the type of main immune cells used to fight viral infections called the CD4+ T-lymphocyte. This occurs because the hypoxia increases the level of a compound called hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), which inhibits T-lymphocytes and stimulates a powerful immune inhibitor cell called the Tregs. . This sets the stage for contracting any infection, including COVID-19 and making the consequences of that infection much graver. In essence, your mask may very well put you at an increased risk of infections and if so, having a much worse outcome.5,6,7

People with cancer, especially if the cancer has spread, will be at a further risk from prolonged hypoxia as the cancer grows best in a microenvironment that is low in oxygen. Low oxygen also promotes inflammation which can promote the growth, invasion and spread of cancers.8,9  Repeated episodes of hypoxia has been proposed as a significant factor in atherosclerosis and hence increases all cardiovascular (heart attacks) and cerebrovascular (strokes) diseases.10

There is another danger to wearing these masks on a daily basis, especially if worn for several hours. When a person is infected with a respiratory virus, they will expel some of the virus with each breath. If they are wearing a mask, especially an N95 mask or other tightly fitting mask, they will be constantly rebreathing the viruses, raising the concentration of the virus in the lungs and the nasal passages. We know that people who have the worst reactions to the coronavirus have the highest concentrations of the virus early on. And this leads to the deadly cytokine storm in a selected number.

It gets even more frightening. Newer evidence suggests that in some cases the virus can enter the brain.11,12 In most instances it enters the brain by way of the olfactory nerves (smell nerves), which connect directly with the area of the brain dealing with recent memory and memory consolidation. By wearing a mask, the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain.13

It is evident from this review that there is insufficient evidence that wearing a mask of any kind can have a significant impact in preventing the spread of this virus. The fact that this virus is a relatively benign infection for the vast majority of the population and that most of the at-risk group also survive, from an infectious disease and epidemiological standpoint, by letting the virus spread through the healthier population we will reach a herd immunity level rather quickly that will end this pandemic quickly and prevent a return next winter. During this time, we need to protect the at-risk population by avoiding close contact, boosting their immunity with compounds that boost cellular immunity and in general, care for them.

One should not attack and insult those who have chosen not to wear a mask, as these studies suggest that is the wise choice to make.


  1. bin-Reza F et al. The use of mask and respirators to prevent transmission of influenza: A systematic review of the scientific evidence. Resp Viruses 2012;6(4):257-67.
  2. Zhu JH et al. Effects of long-duration wearing of N95 respirator and surgical facemask: a pilot study. J Lung Pulm Resp Res 2014:4:97-100.
  3. Ong JJY et al. Headaches associated with personal protective equipment- A cross-sectional study among frontline healthcare workers during COVID-19. Headache 2020;60(5):864-877.
  4. Bader A et al. Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery. Neurocirugia 2008;19:12-126.
  5. Shehade H et al. Cutting edge: Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 negatively regulates Th1 function. J Immunol 2015;195:1372-1376.
  6. Westendorf AM et al. Hypoxia enhances immunosuppression by inhibiting CD4+ effector T cell function and promoting Treg activity. Cell Physiol Biochem 2017;41:1271-84.
  7. Sceneay J et al. Hypoxia-driven immunosuppression contributes to the pre-metastatic niche. Oncoimmunology 2013;2:1 e22355.
  8. Blaylock RL. Immunoexcitatory mechanisms in glioma proliferation, invasion and occasional metastasis. Surg Neurol Inter 2013;4:15.
  9. Aggarwal BB. Nucler factor-kappaB: The enemy within. Cancer Cell 2004;6:203-208.
  10. Savransky V et al. Chronic intermittent hypoxia induces atherosclerosis. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2007;175:1290-1297.
  11. Baig AM et al. Evidence of the COVID-19 virus targeting the CNS: Tissue distribution, host-virus interaction, and proposed neurotropic mechanisms. ACS Chem Neurosci 2020;11:7:995-998.
  12. Wu Y et al. Nervous system involvement after infection with COVID-19 and other coronaviruses. Brain Behavior, and Immunity, In press.
  13. Perlman S et al. Spread of a neurotropic murine coronavirus into the CNS via the trigeminal and olfactory nerves. Virology 1989;170:556-560.

Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter, is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, and lecturer. He attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurological residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 26 years, practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional research. Dr. Blaylock has authored four books, Excitotoxins: The Taste That KillsHealth and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your LifeNatural Strategies for Cancer Patients, and his most recent work, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

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  • robyn kochan
    commented 2021-08-31 07:05:27 -0700
    Excellent information that needs to become widely spread, someway, somehow.
  • mike cairns
    followed this page 2021-05-29 16:41:41 -0700
  • Greg Gerdes
    commented 2021-03-05 15:51:15 -0700
    People need to wake up to the fact – and yes it is a fact – that – SARS-CoV-2 – has never been proven to exist. If you believe otherwise, I’d love to hear from you. I can be contacted here on CFFS, or here:
  • James Booth
    commented 2021-02-23 20:51:17 -0700
    My 70 year old wife worked as a part time cashier for Walmart forced mask & Dr. Says she got Asthma from it. Never had before, when she got better they would not allow her to return to work unless she said it was a Prior illness. Months later she quit as would not take her back to work.
  • Pene Murdoch
    commented 2020-12-14 03:29:23 -0700
    I agree with Diane. This mask thing is way out of control. Number one, only a medical doctor has the authority to tell if a person is “infected” with a communicable disease – not the governor or the president or anyone else. Number two, wearing a mask should be a choice. It’s that simple. Just look around at the people wearing masks – do they look happy about it. The whole atmosphere of our country has changed into a mass of fear, confusion, anger, distrust and just plain sick obedience to the whole subject. I don’t wear one, not going to, and if that makes others uncomfortable, that’s their problem.
  • Diane Sanor
    commented 2020-11-13 09:07:21 -0700
    To Daniel…with all do respect go back and reread without bias what Dr. Blaylock stated AND check out the 17 studies! And sir your one lame biased link is just that! Here are more links that I again respectfully ask you to listen to and read without pre-conceived bias limited to the link you referenced! And before you jump all hairy about the real science just so you know I am NOT a novice! I have been and RN probably longer than your age and have REMAINED well educated and kept up my CE.s also note that I am very CAREFUL of what material I research and its sources! Here is another sir And here is another REALLY check it out! I could set in more but if you are unwilling to accept facts then that is your fault but please quite pushing a FLASE narrative! Regards
  • Deborah Christensen
    commented 2020-11-12 12:52:22 -0700
    There have been 4 decades of studies saying these masks are ineffective and reduce blood oxygen levels not only are they dangerous to your health but if you are claustrophobic they are dangerous to your mental and physical health. Feel free to muzzle your self because you are completely in control of your own body and leave my body to me. A virus is microscopically small and will find away to infect I can not think that all the touching of your facial area because the mask is not normal acts to spread and is ultimately unsanitary. Your creator designed you to breathe oxygen not the waste material carbon dioxide. Mans problem is instead of taking care of this wonderful body designed for us they abuse it. We were designed to fight viruses with a wonderful immune system. With that said hand washing, staying home or away from people when sick, a healthy diet and exercise is your best defense! Not only that it is ultimately against our constitutional rights and I would fight to defend them!
  • Deborah Christensen
    commented 2020-10-01 14:06:20 -0700
    It’s a sad commentary on the future of our country if we don’t act quickly and be vigilant in our efforts to educate. This will take years I’m afraid. Our US Republic has deteriorated so badly since I was in grade school and am now 64. I really have wanted to trust the medical profession but do not understand why basic nutrition is completely overlooked. Oooops I forgot you can’t make any money off that!
  • James Sherbundy
    commented 2020-10-01 13:29:29 -0700
    Deborah, you are absolutely right. People are ignorant. More than that, they have been duped by the power brokers and as such they will believe anything. If they were more intelligent, they would see through the “control of the masses” by the power brokers. Those people are exercising the right to humbly submit to being duped. Their humility makes me sick. We do not have to wear masks at Sunday mass. The priest comes out before mass and announces that everyone should wear a mask and if they find this difficult, then maintain distance person to person. I will not wear a mask and you should see their harumph response when they come in and sit near me. They usually move. A no mask condition in a grocery store is great. They give me wide clearance and stay away from me. All of these mask wearers have been duped and believe they are preserving humanity from extension, but they do not realize they are signing their own death sentence. Wear a mask today and die tomorrow.
  • Deborah Christensen
    commented 2020-10-01 13:08:55 -0700
    It is just AGGRAVATING how little people know about how their own body works! I am appalled by our local state and federal officials pushing this muzzling on people with absolutely no compassion for people who are breathing impaired in the first place. The stupidity in our public officials took me completely by surprise and I’m not sure why 🤣
  • Mervyn Cloe
    commented 2020-09-30 11:20:45 -0700
    A responsible medical community should know that the only real defense against viral invasion is a strong immune system. You get that by having focused nourishment. Hang the masks, they are false hope and have problems of their own. I have successfully made it to 91 by having a healthy immune system. Since 2005, I have included 1000 mg of Lypospheric Vitamin “C” daily. Through the seasonal flu period. I eat lots of fresh fruit and always an apple a day.
  • Rita Vaughn
    commented 2020-09-30 05:56:45 -0700
    The people are just being tricked, and it has been so very well planned. You have to give them that… It’s been a slow and steady and indoctrination for several generations.. Have some compassion for the sheeple.. Check out David Martins World on Youtube.. He shows you excacty how they write studies that have scary titles, and get the narratives the media pushes by quoting the studies that have been done. If you go just one layer deeper and read the actual studies, you will almost always find that what has been written is only the writers opinion and doesn’t match what the studies show at all. But seriously who has time to go into the next layer of information to read the studies most people don’t even have time to read the whole thing as It is. Instead they fact check though useless fact-checks sites. We are working two jobs to make ends meet. The lies are in plain site, but the last several generations have been so indoctrinated to be followers not free thinkers.. God bless us The Rebels! So, please, compassionate and gentle conversations needs to happen with them. No body likes to feel like they have been gullible enough to have been tricked..That’s the death of the Ego.“ a protection mechanism.” Just being mean and forceful and angry to wake them up will effect their nervous systems. Please think back to how you felt when you first learned the truth.. Please have love and compassion for them.. it will work much better.. listen to their beliefs with a genuine heart.. then share yours with peace. Learn to not be so reactive. They will crack open. You will see. I am Not a Q fan, As you can tell I live more in the middle. I always have. But I do like that saying where we go one we go all. .
  • Mervyn Cloe
    commented 2020-09-29 06:34:40 -0700
    I have protected myself for over 20 years by maintaining a strong immune system. Even though I am a voice in the wilderness, I am well into my 91st year sans viral invasions. Is this my imagination? ..If not, why is it not preached from the housetops? Surely according to the information flow, I am very vulnerable, but I refuse to wear a mask. When will people smile, instead of frown at me?
  • Real Math
    commented 2020-09-28 21:51:41 -0700
    Ceremoniously engaging in ritual with righteous indignation, whilst completely unaware of such ritual. ‘Masons on Site’. Their faith is astonishing. Fighting to relinquish their own right to breathe.
  • Thomas Frank
    commented 2020-09-28 20:59:49 -0700
    JS You said the Japanese wear masks when they are infected so it doesn’t spread? If that is true then almost every Japanese person I saw in Tokyo last year was infected.I find it interesting that they are a mask wearing country.Very fewcovid
  • James Sherbundy
    commented 2020-09-28 12:17:18 -0700
    The Japanese wear masks to prevent their infection from getting out and infecting others. They block germs out not germs in. My wife who worked in the infectious diseases ward in the hospital never would wear a mask. The patients wore the masks. And, she never got sick. Maybe she had an outstanding immune system brought about by not wearing a mask.
  • Diane Sanor
    commented 2020-09-28 11:40:40 -0700
    He is ABSOLUTLEY correct! I have been an RN for over 48 years. I am now 71. NEVER EVER had masks been required for any pandemic! Many have said to me…Well you and doctors where them like in surgery! YES to prevent BACTERIA transmission. BACTERIA to influenza and cold (coronavirus) and CV-19 a good comparison the viruses are the size of a VW beetle to a Lincoln! As to any mask might as well put on a macaroni strainer on you face!! People FEAR is the nefarious motivator to make us the people into sheeple! DO NOT BE A Sheeple!! UNITED WE MUST STAND OR DIVIDED WE FALL!!
  • Thomas Frank
    commented 2020-09-23 17:11:59 -0700
    Terry schmitt if you don’t believe mask work for a virus protection check out Japan who is always been a mask wearing Nation look at their covid-19.
  • Terry Schmitt
    commented 2020-09-23 16:38:19 -0700
    Many are unaware that masks in surgical settings has never been validated as a viable means to thwart bacterial or viral infections.
  • Ervin Virola
    commented 2020-09-23 13:48:38 -0700
    Dr. Blaylock is on point but dont believe him… do your own research before having knee jerk reactions to your possibly limited knowledge on the subject matter.

    Book References:
    • Good-Bye Germ Theory – Dr. William Trebing
    • Plague of Corruption – Dr. Judy Mikovitz
    • The invisible Rainbow – Arthur Firstenberg
    • Bechamp or Pasteur? – Ethel D. Hume
    • What Really Makes You Ill? Why everything you thought you knew about disease is wrong – Dawn Lester and David Parker

    Other references/resources:
    • Doctors say wearing a mask is dangerous to your health
    • Facemask Exemptions – Face Mask science – Dr. Tim O’ Shea
    • Danika Bueno RN- Your mask is harming you
    OSHA says masks don’t work and violate OSHA Oxygen levels – The Healthy American – Peggy Hall
    • Are Mandatory Masks “OSHA” Approved – Leigh Dundas, Esquire
    • Why masks do more harm than good – Michael Gaeta DAOM, MS, CDN– The Gaeta Institute for Wholistic Health Education
    • Masks don’t work: A review of Science Relevant to COVID-19 Social Policy

    Thank you Dr. Blaylock for this piece. Obviously you cant cover every aspect of “why” and the origins of the false Germ Theory for people to have an all encompassing understanding. Most are just parroting what they’ve heard from indoctrination camps (Schools) or from their favorite Tell-a-lie-vision station.
  • Brian Farmer
    commented 2020-09-18 18:35:48 -0700
  • tricia michael
    followed this page 2020-08-17 22:34:29 -0700
  • Thomas Frank
    commented 2020-08-17 15:45:44 -0700
    I will wear a mask and go into a Covid ward with someone not wearing a mask and measure who has the highest stress level.
  • Patrick Wood
    commented 2020-08-17 15:41:49 -0700
    Ed Williams – Quit trolling this thread. Blaylock has been proven correct in dozens of instances and all you can do is nitpick? If you have proof to the contrary, cough it up. Otherwise you have nothing of significance to contribute here.

    —> This article uses the Cherry Picking logical fallacy to misrepresent facts and convey lies. Do not believe the fake news!!!

    Here’s an example… the FIRST sentence of the article in citation #2: “The protection efficacy of facemasks and respirators has been well documented.”
  • Patrick Wood
    commented 2020-08-17 15:34:02 -0700
    Brian Farmer – surgeons wear them to keep from drooling into your open wounds. It is about bacteria, not virus. The two topics are completely unrelated.

    —> If masks don’t work, then why do surgeons wear them in operating rooms?
  • Brian Farmer
    commented 2020-07-31 06:27:02 -0700
    If masks don’t work, then why do surgeons wear them in operating rooms?
  • Gavin Ziegler
    commented 2020-07-16 07:53:39 -0700
    Wearing a mask deprives your body from getting enough oxygen! Here’s proof:
    Jul 12, 2020
    Dana Ashlie
  • Thomas Frank
    commented 2020-06-30 10:33:32 -0700
    My family was in Tokyo just before the covid took off. We thought we would feel out of place because we were Americans but soon found out it was because we were about the only ones not wearing face masks.Ponder this. Japan has 127 million people and my state of Washington has 7 million but the death totals are the same.
  • David Pandone
    commented 2020-06-30 08:36:42 -0700
    Thank you for referencing your statements to published and accepted studies. Perhaps a tool to help us fight the edicts and unfounded commands of the tyrannical is a brief point by point that can be printed and posted at entrances to public places with a reference “more complete information with research references is available on our website at ‘’” I have one friend who operates a gym weathering such a storm at present. I’m certain restaurants and stores run by the more informed and freedom respecting would benefit as well.
  • Samuel Wilson
    commented 2020-05-27 18:02:27 -0700
    I feel that the author of this article, a retired physician, has deliberately chosen a deceptive title. Perhaps a more appropriate title would be: Face Masks COULD POSSIBLY Pose Serious Risks to the Healthy THAT DO NOT FOLLOW RECOMMENDATIONS.

    Dr. Blaylock attempts portray all masks as a safety risk based upon some evidence that N95 masks restrict airflow, possibly resulting in headaches or syncope. However, it is important to note that not a single agency is recommending the universal use of N95 masks. These are intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in healthcare settings. As a physician myself, it has been my experience that healthcare workers typically only wear these masks during interactions that pose a possible exposure risk.

    It is true that the efficacy of facemasks in preventing the transmission of COVID-19 is still debated, but it is widely believed by experts that cloth masks do somewhat decrease the rate at which infected people transmit the virus. A simple way of understanding the common-sense logic behind this theory is to think of a time that you have felt small droplets land on your skin after someone has coughed in your direction. These droplets are what carry the virus. Moreover, cloth-masks have the additional benefits of preventing face touching and promoting social distancing, which both unquestionably help prevent the spread of the virus.

    I find it interesting that Dr. Blaylock has chosen to attack the practice of wearing masks in an attempt to prevent the spread COVID-19 due to a lack of conclusive evidence regarding their effectiveness, while simultaneously presenting another argument based on very little evidence at all. In the article, Dr. Blaylock proposes that “By wearing a mask, the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain.13” Although this is a documented pathway for viral spread, the author bases his claim on scant evidence including a few relatively weak investigations of non-SARS-CoV-2 strains of the coronavirus, an inconclusive study of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and a 1989 study the mouse hepatitis virus strain JHM (MHV-JHM). None of the sources investigate the potential for autoinfection resulting from the concentration of exhaled coronavirus in the nasal passages.

    A possible disturbing flaw in Dr. Blaylock’s logic is his belief that a mask is capable of containing the virus in the nasal passages but not capable of preventing its spread in the air. Regardless, if there is any possibility someone is sheading the virus, it is my hope that they feel some sort of societal obligation to prevent the spread of the disease in order to protect the most vulnerable among us.

    The implementation of interventions to slow the spread of the disease have been effective. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of these measures has made it easy for people to doubt the legitimacy of the COVID-19 threat. In the face of all the conspiracies floating around, I think it is prudent to remember that in 1918-1919, St. Louis placed a 2 month ban on visiting public places and multiple cities required facemasks by law. Then, things returned to normal.