Queen's University

SARS and ineffective respiratory masks


Queen's environmental hygienist Ugis Bickis is an expert in the effectiveness of surgical masks.

Dr. Bickis recently advised government and health officials that health care workers were getting ill with SARS in Asia because of the use of inappropriate respiratory protection, and that the same would happen in Canada if officials didn't begin to understand immediately, some current rudiments of airborne particle transmission and respiratory protection. They didn't listen.

The "gear" that health care workers are expected to wear is ludicrous, counter-productive and wasteful in so many ways! And, it doesn't protect them, Dr. Bickis says. Even respirator fit testing isn't going to do much good, unless it's used as a learning tool.

In a CBC Marketplace special report Dr. Bickis reveals research findings that support literature dating back at least 20 years - surgical masks are ineffective as protection for the wearer.

Contact Lorinda Peterson, 613.533.6000, ext. 77559.

Copyright © Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000
Last updated at 4:55 pm EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
iTunes is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.