This note went relatively unnoticed on the website of the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM). But revealed by Mediapart, it clearly indicates that Public Health France asks hospitals in particular to no longer use masks labeled “Biomass Graphene”. The document entitled “Urgent – safety information
“Indicates that the masks should be stored in” pending evaluation of the possible risk associated with the presence of graphene in these masks ».
In this case, these masks are FFP2, supplied by the Chinese manufacturer Shandong Shengquan New Materials (model SNN 200647). Santé publique France asks the structures having these lots to indicate the number of units in their possession.
16.9 million masks distributed
According to Mediapart, this request is supported by a letter from the Regional Health Agency (ARS) to hospital management. In this document that Mediapart was able to consult, it is specified that ” At this stage, 60.5 million FFP2 masks with CE marking have been identified that could potentially contain graphene, of which 16.9 million have already been distributed in 2020
“, is “
28% of stocks received “. The ARS to specify that ” these masks were mainly distributed to health establishments, medico-social establishments. It is also not excluded that health professionals in the outpatient sector may have received this equipment.
Graphene, a new light and ultra-resistant nanomaterial with multiple applications and very promising, would have antiviral and antibacterial properties, but would also be likely to cause the risks of breathing difficulties in the event of inhalation of particles. Canadian authorities recalled millions of masks more than two months ago, on March 25. In France, graphene is classified among the biocides, as defined by the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES). In other words, these masks should never have ended up in the hands of caregivers, if we are to believe the specifications of SPF which makes them an “exclusion criterion”.
Questioned by Mediapart, Public Health France explains that the presence of ghraphene in these masks would have lacked clarity. “This mention could undoubtedly have appeared more obvious to us at SPF and at ANSM if there had been mention of a claim of a biocidal activity”, pleads SPF. Second excuse: the agency recalled that this order (60 million masks in total) is “At the time of massive acquisitions”, in one “Context of shortage of masks”.