Wear a mask! Are These Claims About the Effectiveness of Face Masks True? A widely shared Facebook post from June 2020, purportedly citing the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, offered numerous claims but little evidence. NUR IBRAHIM PUBLISHED 18 June 2020 Claim A Facebook post is correct in saying N95 masks, surgical masks, and cloth masks can be dangerous and/or ineffective in protecting against the spread of COVID-19 based on U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. Rating Mostly False About this rating What's True N95 respirators with valves do allow unfiltered exhaled air to reach others, increasing the risk of spreading infection. Cloth and surgical masks do not protect the wearer from airborne infection. Cloth masks also get dirty easily, which is why OSHA and CDC recommend regular washing. What's False However, contrary to the Facebook post, OSHA has not recommended against wearing face coverings of any kind. Also contrary to the post, cloth and surgical masks are not entirely ineffective because they prevent the wearer from transmitting infection to others through droplets. Surgical masks also protect wearers from getting potential infections via droplets. In addition, people who wear these masks are in little to no danger of breathing in too much carbon dioxide.