Kourtney Kardashian is sharing some seriously questionable information about the use of surgical masks amid the coronavirus pandemic to her 102 million Instagram followers. On Halloween, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star shared a post on her Instagram Story reading, "Those Blue Masks Mandated at grocery stores & airplanes are made of PTFE, a carcinogen made of synthetic fluoride."
The post continued that PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene — used in nonstick cooking coatings like Teflon — "increases the risk of liver, testicle, pancreas, kidney & breast tumors + ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, preeclampsia and high cholesterol. High exposure can cause influenza-like symptoms and hemorrhaging in the lungs, leading to suffocation." Kardashian added a wide-eyed emoji as well as one with an exploding head.
Kardashian's repost was filled with false information, said Dr. William Cance, chief medical and scientific officer of the American Cancer Society, which was cited as the source for the initial post. "There is no evidence to support the claim that the presence of PTFE in a mask causes cancer," Cance told the New York Post. "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."
He continued that these chemicals are only hurtful — causing the symptoms mentioned by Kardashian — if the object containing the chemicals is heated to at least 500 degrees Fahrenheit, causing it to break down and release fumes. All in all, it isn't a concern for someone using the mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as recommended by health professionals.
The Poosh founder has come under fire recently for promoting the conceded presidential race of brother-in-law Kanye West, who told Forbes over the summer vaccines were "the mark of the beast" when asked about the future of a coronavirus vaccine. The entire KUWTK family has been criticized for their behavior during the pandemic, most recently jetting off to a private island with about 30 close friends and family for Kim Kardashian's 40th birthday. Kendall Jenner then threw a crowded Halloween-themed birthday party to celebrate her 25th year last week, where guests partied without masks.
"We’re dealing with lots of people that have different opinions and all we can do is live our lives the best way we know how and be responsible and do the right thing. And we’re doing that," mom Kris Jenner defended on SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live on Monday. “I’m very sensitive to what’s going on. Believe me, you know, I’ve tried so hard.”