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  • Writer's pictureTheresa Sauter

Cloth Masks Do Nothing To Stop The Spread of COVID -Listen to the experts in Industrial Hygiene.

Are our doctors, scientists, or public health officials “experts” in personal protective equipment (P.P.E.) masks? Many mistakenly think that they are. Read on, and I think what you are about to learn may surprise you. Stephen E. Petty is an expert in the field of Industrial Hygiene. You may ask, what is an Industrial Hygienist? Industrial Hygiene is the science and art devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of those environmental factors or stressors, including viruses, arising in or from the workplace, which may cause sickness, impaired health and wellbeing, or significant discomfort among workers or the citizens of the community.

Industrial Hygiene is fundamentally concerned with the proper methods of mitigating airborne/dermal hazards and pathogens and the design and use of engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (P.P.E.), among other things.

Medical doctors, virologists, immunologists, and many public health professionals ARE NOT qualified experts in these areas under the credentials mentioned above.

Mr. Petty has an impressive resume. He has testified about the futility and danger caused by an individual wearing a mask to avoid transmitting or becoming infected with Covid-19. Mr. Petty holds relevant industry certifications, including board certifications as a C.I.H. (Certified Industrial Hygienist), a C.S.P. (Certified Safety Professional), and as a P.E. (Professional Engineer) in six states (Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia).

Mr. Petty has also served as an expert in personal protective equipment and related disciplines in approximately 400 legal cases. He has often been certified as and provided testimony as an expert in these areas. He is currently serving as an expert in the Monsanto Roundup and 3-M PFAS litigation.

On May 7, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) updated its guidance, providing that the primary mechanism for transmission of Covid-19 is through airborne aerosols and not, as previously stated, by touching contaminated surfaces or through large respiratory droplets, as also noted during previous periods of the pandemic.

Airborne viral aerosols can consist of a single viral particle or multiple viral particles clumped together and usually smaller than five µ (microns) in size. By comparison, droplets are >5 µ to >10 µ in size.

A square micron is approximately 1/4000th of the cross-section area of a human hair and 1/88th the diameter of a human hair.

Covid particles are —1/10 of a micron or —1/40,000th the area of a cross-section of a human hair or —1/1,000th the diameter of a human hair.


Particles smaller than 5µ are considered very small and very fine or aerosols. Microscopic particles do not fall by gravity at the same rate as larger particles and can stay suspended in still air for a long time, even days to weeks. Because they remain suspended in concentration in indoor air, microscopic particles can accumulate and become more concentrated over time indoors if the ventilation is poor. Tiny airborne aerosols pose a significant risk of exposure and infection because they easily reach deep into the lung since they are so small, which partly explains why Covid-19 is so quickly spread. Small amounts of microscopic SARS-CoV-2 Viral Particles can cause an infection in a host.

Exposure to airborne aerosols is a function of two primary parameters: concentration and time. To be "safe" from the SARS-CoV-2 Virus, we want to minimize exposure to viral particles and minimize the time of exposure. The cloth masks do not stop viral particles; the microscopic particles may sit on the interior and exterior of the mask, enhancing both the concentration and time of exposure. Viruses and bacteria thrive in moist, damp environments, like behind the wet mask of a child sitting in the same mask for six to eight hours a day at school.

For many reasons, personal protective equipment (P.P.E.) is the LEAST desirable way to protect people from tiny airborne aerosols. Moreover, masks are not P.P.E. since they cannot be sealed and do not meet the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Standard (R.P.S.), namely 29 CFR 1910.134. Regarding P.P.E., facial coverings do not effectively protect individuals from exposure to tiny airborne aerosols, and a device referred to as a respirator is required to provide such protection.

The American International Health Alliance (AIHA), in their September 9, 2020 Guidance Document for COVID-19, noted that the acceptable relative risk reduction methods must be >90%; masks were shown to be only 10% and 5% and far below the required 90% level.

Similarly, Shah, et al, 2021, using ideally sealed masks and particles 1 micron in size, reported efficiencies for the more commonly used cloth masks and surgical masks of 10% and 12%, respectively.

Ordinary cloth mask can NOT be perfectly sealed; thus “real world” effectiveness would be even lower.

Industrial hygienists refer to a “Hierarchy of Controls.” They implement a Hierarchy of Controls to minimize exposures, including exposures to tiny airborne aerosols like Covid-19. Regarding practical or “engineering” controls, industrial hygienists focus on practices that dilute, destroy, or contain airborne hazards (or hazards in general).

P.P.E., especially facial coverings, do not dilute, destroy, or contain airborne hazard. Therefore, facial coverings do not appear anywhere in the Industrial Hygiene (I.H.) Hierarchy of Controls for tiny airborne aerosols like Covid-19. The respiratory system, however, is designed to eliminate airborne hazards through a variety of innate natural mechanisms, including but not limited to:

  1. Sneezing

  2. Coughing

  3. Exhaling

  4. Spitting

  5. Excretion through sweating, urinating, and by other organs of the urinary system.

(Masking the face interferes with natural elimination of toxins and other harmful waste products; making the person wearing a mask at a greater risk of keeping toxic substances in the body). Children should be encouraged to sneeze into a tissue, to exhale and to practice careful natural excretion but there are inherent risks associated with conditioning children not to fully exhale and to remain in masks for an undetermined amount of time.

Even respirators (part of the P.P.E. Category and NOT MASKS) are the last priority on the Hierarchy of Controls. Cloth and/or Paper Facial coverings are not comparable to respirators, and leakage of viral particles occurs around the edges of ordinary facial coverings. Thus, regular facial coverings do not provide a reliable level of protection against the inhalation of microscopic airborne particles and are not considered respiratory protection. (For example, during the seasonal forest fires in the summer of 2020, the C.D.C. issued general guidance warning that facial coverings do not protect against smoke inhalation. That is because facial coverings do not provide a reliable level of protection against the tiny particles of ash contained in smoke. Ash particles are substantially larger than Covid-19 aerosolized particles).

Ordinary facial coverings do not meet any of the several key OSHA Respiratory Protection Standards for respirators. Because of the gaps around the edges of facial coverings, they do not filter out Covid-19 aerosols.

The policy stating masks will be worn without gaps defies known science that masks worn today cannot be sealed and always have gaps. The effectiveness of a facial cloth covering falls to zero when there is a 3% or more open area in the edges around the sides of the facial covering.

Most over-the-counter disposable facial coverings have edge gaps of 10% or more. When children use adult-sized facial coverings, edge gaps will usually significantly exceed 10%. Even short breaks (e.g., to eat) expose individuals to Covid-19 aerosols in indoor spaces. Ordinary cloth facial coverings do not provide any filtering benefit relative to particles smaller than 5µ if not sealed.

Substantial mitigation of Covid-19 particles could be immediately achieved by:

  1. opening windows and using fans to draw outdoor air into indoor spaces (diluting the concentration of aerosols)

  2. setting fresh air dampers to the maximum opening on HVAC systems

  3. overriding HVAC energy controls

  4. increasing the number of times indoor air is recycled,

  5. installing needlepoint ionization technology to HVAC intake fans

  6. installing inexpensive ultraviolet germicide devices into HVAC systems.

All of the above-referenced techniques are more effective and meet the standard industrial hygiene hierarchy of controls (practices) for controlling exposures in place for nearly 100 years.

The use of cloth facial coverings does not fit within these essential controls since masks are not P.P.E. and do not provide an adequate seal around the nose and mouth.

There are no OSHA standards for facial coverings (masks) as respiratory protection.

Extended use of respiratory P.P.E. is not indicated without medical supervision. As explained in an article titled “Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards,?" published on April 20, 201, in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.


Adverse effects from wearing masks include:

  1. Measurable drop in oxygen saturation (O2) of the blood

  2. Increase in carbon dioxide (CO2)

  3. Increase noradrenergic stress response,

  4. Increase in the heart rate increase

  5. Increase in respiratory rate

  6. In some cases, people wearing masks experience a significant blood pressure increase.


As stated by, in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal,“The overall possible resulting measurable drop in oxygen saturation (O2) of the blood on the one hand and the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) on the other contribute to an increased noradrenergic stress response, with heart rate increase and respiratory rate increase, in some cases also to a significant blood pressure increase.”

In fact, “Neither higher-level institutions such as the WHO or the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) nor national ones, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, GA, U.S.A. (C.D.C.) or the German R.K.I., substantiate with sound scientific data a positive effect of masks in the public (in terms of a reduced rate of spread of COVID-19 in the population). For these reasons, the people who are forced to wear masks according to Government, Business, and Local mandates suffer immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage.

Why have we not seen this presentation in our local media?

Why are our School Board Members, Teachers, and "Trusted Members of The Community" shaming, manipulating, gaslighting, and continuing to coerce the general public and, most alarmingly, children into mask compliance?

We believe it is due to a lack of education and a lack of a deeper understanding of the complexities of human health, viral transmission, and host-specific adaptations to stress overload. Decisions at all levels are being made out of fear over facts and in a continued effort to enjoy the comforts of cognitive dissonance brought to us by "science" funded by The Pharmaceutical Companies.

Due to the fact that viruses are always and will always be floating in the air; airborne viruses cannot be avoided by the use of a cloth covering with no adequate seal. We must learn how to co-exist with viruses and each other. For the reality is that the only way to avoid exposure to viruses is to live inside a sealed container.

Exposure in and of itself, is not the primary mechanism that causes Respiratory Disease. Molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA does not necessarily correlate with risk of developing COVID-19, since only viable virions can cause disease. The viral particles must be potent enough to survive once it enters the host. Even then, disease progression is correlated to the health of the individual host in which the virus infects; making COVID-19 more of a personal health issue. Masking might provide some people with a feeling of comfort but it is an illusion of safety and one that can contribute to other health and emotional issues to the individual wearing the mask; therefore making the host more susceptible to disease by weakening the natural elimination methods of exhaling.

We offer this information so those on the side of placing an undue burden on healthy adults and children to wear masks can understand why so many are opposed to mask mandates and, want to exercise our INFORMED CONSENT RIGHTS TO CHOOSE.

By Theresa Sauter

And, additional contributions by Erin DiMaggio


Additional Resources:

Types of OSHA Approved Respiratory Protection that actually protect against microscopic viruses.

Kisielinski K, Giboni P, Prescher A, et al. Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(8):4344. Published 2021 April 20. doi:10.3390/ijerph18084344


NIOSH-Approved Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators

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