Kourtney Kardashian is under scrutiny for touting a baseless conspiracy theory about blue surgical masks. The eldest of the Kardashian sisters posted the theory to her Instagram Story on Halloween, right before she was seen maskless at her sister Kendall’s birthday party.
“Those Blue Masks Mandated at grocery stores & airplanes are made of PTFE, a carcinogen made of synthetic fluoride,” she wrote. “According to Cancer.Org it increases the risk of liver, testicle, pancreas, kidney & breast tumors + ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, preeclampsia and high cholesterol.”
The apparent warning to her 103 million followers finished, “High exposure can cause influenza-like symptoms and hemorrhaging in the lungs, leading to suffocation.” She then completed the post with the “mind-blown” emoji.
In a statement to the New York Post, the American Chemical Society debunked the claim. Dr. William Cance, chief medical and scientific officer of the ACS, said, “There is no evidence to support the claim that the presence of PTFE in a mask causes cancer. As a surgical oncologist, I, along with thousands of colleagues in the health-care profession, have been wearing masks for years to protect patients from the spread of infections.”
People were quick to criticize Kardashian for touting misinformation about masks at a time when there's a critical need for the public to be wearing them. Masks help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which has claimed over 233,000 lives in the U.S. so far.
One Twitter user said, “Not Kourtney Kardashian posting about how masks can give you cancer. We know she is too rich to care about COVID but encouraging fans not to wear masks to protect them from COVID is a new low. That family can’t really be this tone-deaf and stupid? Is it PR?”
Doctors also spoke out against Kardashian's irresponsible post. “Social media is the way the majority of our generation gets info. @kourtneykardash told her 102 *million* Instagram followers today that masks cause cancer- just so unbelievably dangerous. Doctors/scientists, we have to keep combatting misinformation--no matter how tiring it gets,” Dr. Danielle Belrado tweeted.
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H/T Fox News