Govt to ask suppliers about mask poisoning fears - RTHK
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Govt to ask suppliers about mask poisoning fears

2020-05-11 HKT 13:02
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  • Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit says he is checking with suppliers to make sure mask wearers won't accidentally inhale copper particles. Photo: RTHK
    Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit says he is checking with suppliers to make sure mask wearers won't accidentally inhale copper particles. Photo: RTHK
The official spearheading the government's reusable mask drive for the public says he is checking with suppliers to make sure that people won't inhale copper particles when they wear them.

Concerns have been raised about people getting sick from breathing in copper from the filter in the masks which are being distributed free of charge to all residents that want them.

Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit said on a radio programme on Monday that he is aware of the concerns, and that his department will ask the suppliers for more details about the masks' raw materials.

But he said according to the information they have at hand, it should not be possible for people to accidentally inhale copper particles and he is confident about the masks' filtering capabilities.

Sit reiterated that the type of mask being handed out has had to undergo repeated tests, and that it complies with international standards.

He said the masks can be washed and reused up to 60 times, but conceded that they're not good enough for use in hospitals or clinics.

Sit said that as of 8am on Monday, around 2.83 million people had registered for the masks which are being sent to people in the mail.

The first batch was being prepared to be sent out on Monday. Hongkong Post said those who have registered for the masks will receive an SMS message, and a delivery will be made within two working days.

If no one is home to receive the masks, a notification card will be left and residents can claim the masks at a designated post office within 14 working days.