For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Hornblas
600 Blair Park Road, Suite 235
Williston, Vermont 05495
BURLINGTON — The Vermont Emergency Forum to Assess the Respiratory Hazards of Masks is being held on Friday, May 12th in Burlington City Hall. The Forum will begin evaluating the effects face masks are having on respiratory health in our state.
The Covid Federal Emergency is scheduled to expire May 11th. However, approval for masks and other emergency authorized products is not expected to end. Vermont Emergency Forum organizers point out that mask requirements have, and continue to be, imposed on people of all ages and abilities, without any of the basic protections offered to employees who wear an N95-style respirator at work.
Forum organizers address the respiratory hazards of masks with a presentation by their keynote speaker, Dr. Christina Parks, who holds a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Dr. Parks will address the importance of respiration to all the systems of the body, and the effects of prolonged mask use on those systems. She will address specific concerns for children and other populations, as well as the use of masks while physically exerting or otherwise under stress.
While most schools have dropped school-wide mask policies, at least one school in Vermont has continued to require students and staff in specific classrooms to wear face masks again this year at the advice of their special education team. To address this issue, participants will learn how to provide safe and appropriate special education accommodations in schools, and why masks are neither, will be supported later in the morning by Megan Mansell, a former district education director over special populations integration, with experience in appropriate PPE supervision as well as writing and monitoring protocol implementation in the public sector under full ADA/OSHA/IDEA compliance.
Employers and employees in all fields will be instructed in the afternoon on responsible mask policies by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certified health and safety experts Tammy Clark and Kristen Megan Kelly. Clark and Kelly have been sharing their expertise to employers around the country and educating them about existing standards requiring them to assess the hazards of masks. They are also raising the awareness about the OSHA standards intended to bring Vaccine or Mask policies, which have been put in place for medical facilities in response to Covid, to all workplace settings.
A panel discussion will bring the forum presenters together with local business owners, employees, teachers and students who have stood up to protect themselves and others from the hazards of mask requirements. The panel will be facilitated by Dr. Rob Williams, founder of Vermont Independent.
The day-long Forum will conclude with the presentation of a Breathing Champions Award, presented by former Deputy State’s Attorney Tom Kelly to the Desautels Family, who have been standing up for three years to defend the legal rights of students and employees through the Vermont court system.