As millions of Australians are forced to wear masks in accordance with current health directives, it's imperative to ask officials why the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) isn't investigating, identifying or recalling masks coated in graphene or biomass graphene.
In early June 2021, French authorities urgently recalled millions of face masks made in China containing graphene or biomass graphene, with Canada following suit in early July, 2021.
Health authorities in both countries rang the alarm bell after discovering that inhaling graphene could lead to asbestos-like lung damage, along with creating symptoms mirroring exactly those of COVID-19.
Studies have shown inhaling microscopic graphene into the lungs creates damage similar to asbestos.
Scientists at City University of Hong Kong launched an anti-bacterial face mask including graphene in November, 2020, stating it had 'the potential to combat Covid-19 quickly, cheaply and sustainably'.
Breathing in graphene or biomass graphene creates inflammation in the lungs, resulting in chronic injury, bacterial infections and the formation of calcified granulomatous.
Granulomatous are tiny clusters of white blood cells and other tissues that can form not only in the lungs, but can also be distributed throughout the body including the liver, eyes and skin, creating infection.
They can also create a variety of immunodeficiency reactions and conditions including Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
A study by Brown University in the USA in 2013 further found damage from graphene can be created when human cells were bound to graphene, with the cells irrevocably damaged. Another study published in March 2020 found exposure to graphene induced a weakening of the lungs’ protective barrier.
Graphene is a superconductor made of thin but extremely strong and conductive sheets of carbon atoms.
When included on face masks, the graphene is touted as helping prevent the spread of microbes in COVID-19, yet due to a number of proven negative health impacts linked to the nanomaterial, it is yet to be proven safe for humans.
Although graphene is reported to have antiviral and antibacterial properties, the benefits within the inclusion of a variety of different uses and applications - including masks and materials - remain unproven due to many variables, yet with clear health risks already identified.
Variations include the application of the graphene, the amount and length of exposure, the type and characteristics of the graphene material used and the design of the masks worn.
Since banning the face masks, health experts in Canada are still awaiting the results from requested scientific assessment and data from mask manufacturers around the safety of masks in order to determine the related health risks available to the public that may or may not contain graphene.
Erring on the side of caution, Health Canada has directed all known distributors, importers and manufacturers to stop selling and to recall the products identified and unidentified to contain graphene.
The Daily Telegraph reported the recall of the face masks in Canada in early April, 2021.
Additionally, Health Canada has written to provinces and territories advising them to stop distribution and use of face masks.
Given these measures, it is extraordinary to discover that a number of these recalled masks are currently available and on sale in Australia.
Alarmingly, when contacted, a number of face mask distributors and stockist either were not aware of the dangers of the graphene, or could not confirm its inclusion or exclusion on their masks.
Distributers contacted included those selling hospital grade masks and chemist outlets, along with fashion outlets including those selling cotton and bamboo masks, which are also known to be coated in graphene in the hope of warding off transmission of the live virus.
Activewear entrepreneur Lorna Jane came under fire in July with court action launched against the clothing chain by the Australian Competition And Consumer Commission (ACCC) accusing the company of making 'false and misleading claims that the company’s ‘anti-virus activewear’ had been sprayed with a substance said to 'protect the wearer against pathogens'.
Clothing company Lorna Jane's tagline ‘Cure for the spread of COVID-19? Lorna Jane thinks so’, was disputed by ACCC Chair Rod Sims.
'Lorna Jane falsely promoted its LJ Shield Activewear as eliminating or providing protection from COVID amidst growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Australia,' said ACCC Chair Rod Sims.
The ACCC fined the activewear doyenne $5 million dollars.
The shield referred to by Ms Jane is the same graphene shield or coating utilised in the recalled face masks.
Ms James' claims were based on the reasoning that given experts state the virus can survive on the outer surface of the graphene coating included on medical, reusable and disposable face masks, and that the inclusion of graphene on her clothing fabric would offer antivirus protection from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The court labelled the claim 'predatory and exploitative' however it is not known if the company's trade-secret 'LJ Shield' marketing spin was disclosed to the court to have contained graphene.
Australian company First Graphene is the leading supplier of high-performing, graphene products.
Given the outcome by the ACCC, it is unknown whether such action has been taken against the TGA in reference to the claims made within the mandatory mask mandate.
With recalls in Canada and France, anomalies and indisputable health concerns surrounding graphene's inclusion on face masks; it begs the question why the TGA hasn't researched, investigated or immediately recalled face masks Australia-wide to to ensure their safety as a matter of urgency. It further raises concerns around the liability of the Australian government in reference to any health complaints arising from mandatory and enforced face mask regulations.
Update: After our investigate journalist contacted the TGA for comment, the reply from the response was as below -
Q - ‘Has the TGA (or related governing body) researched or dismissed the (possible) adverse health impacts of graphene and biomass graphene and if so, could you please forward me this information or details of clinical trials or advice around graphene’.
A - ‘The TGA is currently assessing the technical data and information related to the products. We are unable to provide specifics on products under review. The outcomes of the face mask review are published on the TGA website as they become available including cancellations and any market action’.
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