(WJHL) – A Tennessee Department of Health spokesperson has confirmed to News Channel 11 that county health departments are no longer distributing free masks provided by the state.
“County health departments are not distributing the free masks at this time while further inquiry is pursued,” spokesperson Bill Christian said in an email Monday afternoon.
News Channel 11 reached out to TDH after the Sullivan County Health Department said that mask distribution was “on hold until further notice” on directive from the central office.
The health department said that central office referred to the TDH headquarters in Nashville.
Health departments across Tennessee have stopped passing out the masks.
The suspension follows a report by WTVF, the CBS affiliate in Nashville, that the “sock masks” were treated with a registered pesticide.
According to that article, the masks, bought from North Carolina-based sock maker Renfro, were treated with Silvadur.
According to Silvadur maker DuPont’s website, the product is a antimicrobial and “odor control technology for textiles” that uses silver ions to kill odor-causing microbes.