Masks And O2 Saturation Levels: Fake Science

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

From a reader, Fox News.

The simple act of wearing a mask amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has become a politically charged topic in the U.S. and across social media. Despite the urgings of public health officials and pleas from doctors in hard-hit hospitals across the country, some people have still refused to don a facial covering, citing widespread disinformation about alleged negative health effects of mask wearing.

One Irish doctor set out to prove mask detractors wrong in an experiment that debunked the claim that wearing a facial covering negatively impacts the wearer’s oxygen levels.

Dr. Maitiu O Tuathail, a doctor based in Dublin, shared on Twitter that patients repeatedly ask him whether masks affect oxygen levels.

He conducted the test in response to the queries, and he found that the results did not show a lowering of oxygen levels.

The video, posted Tuesday, showed O Tuathail putting six face masks on his face as he recorded his pulse rate on a pulse oximeter.The pulse oximeter showed no change in the doctor’s oxygen levels after putting on the medical coverings.

He’s not an engineer.  I can prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that an increased ΔP causes a decrease in flow rate (Q) unless you’re dealing with a positive displacement pump operating short of “dead head” conditions.

With his brain controlling his lungs and diaphragm, he has a PD pump.  He simply breathed enough to compensate for the increased differential pressure.  But humans get fatigued, and there is no study demonstrating that there wouldn’t have been a decrease in O2 saturation levels over time, or that less healthy individuals wouldn’t have suffered.

This should be placed in the category of fake science.  It’s just entertainment.  Get a team to study it, and then get a PE seal and signature on it.  Then maybe I’ll take it seriously.  Otherwise, it’s just a circus trick suitable for a carnival.  It’s the equivalent of the bearded fat lady lifting a thousand pounds over her head.


  1. On July 14, 2020 at 11:37 pm, BRVTVS said:

    There are plenty of professions where wearing a mask is the norm for at least part of the day. Do surgeons, exterminators, carpenters, and painters have problems with low oxygen?

  2. On July 15, 2020 at 4:29 am, Hudson H Luce said:

    I’ve got a pulse oximeter, they’re pretty cheap, got it on the advice of my doc when I was monitoring my bp about three years ago after a nasty bout of flu. I’ll be doing some heavy outside work which requires a mask anyway, and check it out. I doubt there’s any difference. I’ve got an NBC gas mask, had it for years, use it when cutting hardwood, the thing about it is that it get sweaty really quick, I could give that a shot, too.

  3. On July 15, 2020 at 5:45 am, Brad S. said:

    In response to BRVTVS – Every Operating Room in every Level 1 or 2 trauma center has additional O2 pumped in via HVAC (or other methods). OR staff are the only ones in your example list that wear face coverings on an extended basis. Bottom line, mandated masks are a political tool of submission, with little effect on viral or droplet transmission, unless worn properly (which very few citizens do). Avoiding that fact is delusional. It is not about HEALTH or SAFETY. Masks are part of the second and third steps of published marxist takeover tactics.

  4. On July 15, 2020 at 8:19 am, penses said:

    Brad S.: “mandated masks are a political tool of submission”

    The mussies are getting a good laugh out of this. Western men wearing Islamic female facial coverings. The Feminized, sissified European male has made the complete transformation to wimminization. From the world’s best warriors to wimps. If told to wear a mask I take my money somewhere else. The extra time and gas is the price I pay for being independent. Being free is no longer an option.

    Before the planneddemic people in the medical profession advised the public not to wear masks and they made it a practice to throw their used masks away and keep clean masks available.

    The mask catches your lungs moisture and any airborne bacteria. The dust and debris in the air accumulate on the mask giving the bacteria a buffet. If any bacteria are present you’re wearing a petri dish. At home and at work I have worn masks but I have never used the same mask twice. The smell from the used masks told me there was something there I did not want in my lungs.

  5. On July 15, 2020 at 8:46 am, billrla said:

    The human respiratory system is designed to operate without a mask. Investigators are still trying to prove why this is not true.

  6. On July 15, 2020 at 12:01 pm, BRVTVS said:

    Brad S.: “mandated masks are a political tool of submission”

    They were signs of defiance in March when government types were telling us not to wear them. It was in March that most of my mask wearing occurred because at that time avoiding crowded enclosed spaces wasn’t an option I had available.

    Brad S.: “Masks are part of the second and third steps of published marxist takeover tactics.”

    Could you point me to a source on that? I’ve read many such lists of steps for communist takeover (such as the list in the marginalia over at the Woodpile Report) and never saw anything about masks.

  7. On July 15, 2020 at 12:11 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    I never said that masks cause low O2 sat in humans. I responded to the claim made by the carnival barker that they *DON’T* because he did some stupid little experiment.

    I made the claim that an increased DP in front of a pump decreases flow. I made the claim that one can compensate for that by breathing harder. I made the claim that this can be exhausting, esp. for the elderly.

    Every one of my claims is backed by classical engineering principles. I stand by my claims.

  8. On July 15, 2020 at 1:49 pm, Alex said:

    I think Herschel’s point is how this cute little “experiment” of measuring oximetry levels before and after wearing a mask is completely meaningless and is no more than a pathetic attempt at attention-seeking under the guise of scientific investigation. But because it’s labeled “science” and the person performing the stunt is a “doctor” then it must be true right? Yeah sure whatever… Pulse oximeters are actually pretty inaccurate because they are an indirect measure of oxygenation, which is extrapolated based on the absorption of different wavelengths of light by red blood cells in differing states of oxygenation. Furthermore, as Herschel mentioned, the human body maintains a very tight range of oxygen and CO2 levels in the blood by compensating for activity level, lung function, or even environment. At higher altitudes the partial pressure of oxygen in the environment is lower, so your brain tells your lungs to breath faster and deeper.

    I wear an N95 mask all day at the hospital and I can tell you that I breathe faster and deeper than without a mask. Why? Well the body actually controls its respiratory drive based on levels of CO2, not oxygen, in a healthy person (ie without severe emphysema or lung disease). There’s this little concept of “dead space” which is the volume of air that doesn’t actively get exchanged during respiration, of which we all have some due to the volume of our trachea and mouth. When you add a mask to the equation, you effectively increase this dead space, which decreases your ability to get rid of CO2. Your body doesn’t like CO2, so tells your brain to breathe faster and deeper to get rid of the CO2. A tight fitting N95 without a doubt has a larger dead space than a loose fitting surgical or cloth mask, which is why I’m breathing fast and deep even when I’m sitting down sewing up someone’s hand. With that being said, the additional dead space of a surgical mask is a little bit less, and the dead space associated with a cloth mask is almost negligible.

    I’ve never really thought of masks in the context of the flow equation, but Herschel is spot on. In medicine we usually think of Ohm’s Law as applying to blood flow, but it obviously applies to breathing as well. Q (flow) = ΔP (pressure difference) / R (resistance). Adding the mask effectively increases the resistance, and in order to maintain a constant flow of air, the pressure difference has to increase. The lungs work by creating negative pressure inside the thorax, which sucks air in through the mouth. In other words, if you’re wearing a mask your diaphragm has to work harder to get the same amount of air – this is not up for debate. What could be up for debate is to what degree this happens, and it’s reasonable to conclude that the effect is negligible or none on a healthy person. But keep in mind that this extra effort is in addition to the increased need for air exchange because of the dead space issue.

    Gosh… I love physics, critical thinking, and reasoning. Three things that so many people struggle with these days. Times like these I wish I went into engineering instead of medicine.

  9. On July 15, 2020 at 2:07 pm, Sanders said:

    I wear an N95 mask……….when I clean out my hen house.

  10. On July 15, 2020 at 2:12 pm, Herschel Smith said:



    Furthermore, while I didn’t explain the various problems this can introduce, there is this.

    Just as high CO2 is a powerful stimulant, the loss of CO2 is a powerful depressant. Thus the increase of ventilation (human breathing) due to hypoxia (e.g., high altitudes, extreme exercise, etc.) eliminates CO2 out of proportion to metabolic production. As the level of CO2 falls, the blood becomes alkaline, and the respiratory drive is inhibited.

    The human body is a complex system, and messing with it with one parameter is like playing “whack-a-mole.” It introduces all sorts of unanticipated and unintended consequences.

    But you already know this. When I was discussing this with my daughter a few months back (she is an NP), she was careful to point out that this phenomenon is why a provider cannot simply administer O2 to COPD patients to make everything okay long term. It just doesn’t work like that.

  11. On July 15, 2020 at 2:51 pm, Fred said:

    The people wearing a mask alone in their car vote.

  12. On July 15, 2020 at 5:14 pm, penses said:

    “Walmart announced Wednesday that all customers at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores will be mandated to wear coronavirus masks effective Monday, July 20. The mask mandate will be enforced by black-shirt wearing “Health Ambassadors.” The nation’s largest retailer said the mandate is to bring “consistency” to store policy as about 65% of its stores are in areas under government mask orders.”

    Nice to know corporate Amerika is right on top of the lastest scientifc data and they are establishing a Gestapo to keep every “kosher”.

  13. On July 16, 2020 at 1:28 am, Wilson said:

    In 2013 the International Journal of Infection Control published the article “How effective are face masks in operation theatre? A time frame analysis and recommendations“. After 2 hours the surgical mask is saturated with bacteria, after 2 1/2 hours the masked person is Breathing 50% more bacteria on the patient than if he did not wear a mask.

    Many of the popular masks are comfortable because they don’t trap the liquid in the humid exhaled breath. A virus is about the size of the aerosol droplets a person exhales, if the mask passes the liquid in the human breath then it lets viruses out also.

    A beard defeats a mask. Construction masks are pointless. Bandannas are worthless.

    The CDC survey of mask studies concluded having the general population wear masks had no impact on virus spread.

    The entire mask issue is a scam. There is no medical benefit to masking the population.

  14. On July 16, 2020 at 1:37 am, Don said:

    Along with the ridiculous mask mandate, I’m also “annoyed” with their push in the last week to stop using cash in their stores, because of an alleged coin shortage. Kroger and Meijer are also trying to get customers to stop using cash, and I understand that Kroger will be requiring masks starting next week.
    I honestly don’t know what to do; I don’t consider myself a sheep, in the sense of blindly following the herd, but I do have to go to at least a few big box stores. Smaller stores aren’t enforcing the rules that much, with exceptions. I’ve closed down accounts with two specialized chains because of the mask requirement, and if Cabelas’ starts enforcing it, I’ll probably cut up my black world elite card. (Cabelas doesn’t seem to like the fact that I only buy firearms through them; the sales people keep trying to interest me in boats.)
    For now, I guess I will put on the mask when I go in, pull it down after I pass the Gate Commissars, and see if I get any grief when I go to the registers. I’ll also make up a few masks with “cute” sayings on them, depending on how infuriated I am.

  15. On July 16, 2020 at 1:45 am, Don said:

    One other thing is that I’ve been told that is that ADA doesn’t apply WRT the kung-flu crap. Has anyone heard whether this is true or not? I’ve looked up the Ohio regs, and they seem to say that the exemptions are available, but the stores I’ve talked with here in the Cincinnati area tell me that the local health people are saying no exceptions.

  16. On July 17, 2020 at 8:25 am, penses said:

    Bandanas. They make a wicking bandana you can pull over your head. In the summer you can wet it and stay cool and be ready for the ordinance Nazis. Washable.

  17. On July 18, 2020 at 11:54 am, penses said:

    “Masks are part of the second and third steps of published marxist takeover tactics.”

    “The entire mask issue is a scam. There is no medical benefit to masking the population.”

    BRVTVS: “Could you point me to a source on that? I’ve read many such lists of steps for communist takeover (such as the list in the marginalia over at the Woodpile Report) and never saw anything about masks.”

    Welcome to pedo world.

    “The fact that this fake coronavirus pandemic is a ritual is not surprising, given that the inner core of the NWO are Satanists who practice black magic.”

    The globalists are in charge. Trump and the marxists are just tools for the implementation of the NWO.

  18. On July 19, 2020 at 3:29 pm, penses said:

    And Barnhardt has a picture on her site showing the mask needed to prevent a virus from entering you body through you mouth and EYES. Which proves that orders mandating the wearing of masks only purpose is to use extra legal authority to manage the population (sheep), shearing them when the the circumstances are favroable to their

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