Are face masks effective?


So far, most studies found little to no evidence for the effectiveness of cloth face masks in the general population, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control. By contrast, there is mounting evidence to show that mask-wearing is injurious to physical and mental health and hinders children’s development.

Key Points & Evidence

1) A May 2020 meta-study on pandemic influenza published by the US CDC found that face masks had no effect, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control


2) A Danish randomized controlled trial with 6000 participants, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in November 2020, found no statistically significant effect of high-quality medical face masks against SARS-CoV-2 infection in a community setting.


3) A large randomized controlled trial with close to 8000 participants, published in October 2020 in PLOS One, found that face masks “did not seem to be effective against laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections nor against clinical respiratory infection.”


4) A February 2021 review by the European CDC found no significant evidence supporting the effectiveness of non-medical and medical face masks in the community. Furthermore, the European CDC advised against the use of FFP2/N95 respirators by the general public.



There appears to be no reason to wear a face mask other than to follow guidelines. With evidence showing harm caused by mask-wearing, the reader is advised to reconsider complying with the current mask mandates.

Posted: 26th April 2021

Tagged: Face Masks

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