25 March 2021
Use of face masks in the magnetic resonance (MR) scanner environment
Face masks may contain metallic components, both visible and hidden, which in the MR environment may pose a hazard. The role of face masks in infection control is recognised and their use should not be avoided as simple practices can avoid these hazards.
Metallic components may cause deflection or displacement of masks reducing effectiveness. Metallic components may also cause heating when worn by the patient during scanning, with one reported incident in the USA.
Masks worn by patients undergoing MRI should not contain metallic components. Due to the risk of hidden and unlabelled metal in patients’ own masks, MRI departments should maintain a supply of suitable non-metallic face masks for use by patients during scanning.
This statement was inititated by the BIR MR Safety Working Party.