Here’s how to tell the difference between a fake N95 mask and a real one

Here's how to tell the difference between a fake N95 mask and a real one

Between the time the pandemic began and the end of the year, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized more than 14.6 million fake face masks that entered the United States, the agency told CNN.

The N95 masks are the Gold standard To use the mask, But the fake doppelgängers could threaten the safety of Americans. The agency said failure to meet US safety standards means it may not effectively filter airborne particles.
It can also be N95 masks With the error KN95 Masks, which meet the standards in China but not certified by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Here’s how to spot a fake N95 mask.

The most important thing: NIOSH approval

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that focuses on worker safety and health.

Before filtering face masks – a fancy term that includes N95 masks – they can be used in any workplace, they must be NIOSH certified.

For an N95 mask to obtain a NIOSH seal of approval, it needs to be filtered At least 95% of airborne particles.

When you know whether or not an N95 mask is fake, NIOSH signs are your compass. But there are a few checks you can do before you have a mask in your hand.

What to consider before purchasing

When purchasing masks online, there are a few things you can ask yourself, accordingly CDC directing On discovering counterfeit PPE.

If you buy directly through the website:

  • Are there flaws with the website, such as incomplete or blank pages, fake text, broken links, and misspelled domains?

If you are buying through a third-party marketplace:

  • Does the listing describe the product “original” or “real”? Legitimate companies don’t need to tell buyers that their products are realAt least not in the product name.
  • Are reviews left on the product or seller? Unsatisfied buyers may disclose the product as poorly made or illegal.
  • Is the price too good to be true? It might be.
  • Is the seller selling the same items over time, or in line with trends? Legitimate businesses tend to remain consistent.
  • Does the seller put their contact information in the pictures? If so, then they might be wrapped around market policy to maintain interactions between buyers and sellers on the site.

How to check if your mask is real

Okay, but what if you actually hide a website or marketplace and don’t know if it’s the real deal?

Here’s the rule of thumb: There are no signs of disapproval.

NIOSH certified masks contain an approval label on or inside the mask packaging – either on the box or in the user’s instructions. The mask must also have a short-approval tag.

The approval number on your mask must begin with ‘TC’. The mask must also have the NIOSH logo printed on it. This image is from CDC It can help you identify the marks of your mask.
After that, you can check the approval number on List of NIOSH approved equipment.

Some of the other red flags to look for include:

Do you have a real mask? Share these resources

CDC and NIOSH have resources to help you spot fake masks, or even PPE and other medical equipment. Could you I start here And get more tips on checking masks. You can also see pictures of unapproved NIOSH masks.
If you can Read about How to protect yourself from buying counterfeit goods.

Do you have a fake mask? Report it

Fake masks It’s not the only counterfeit products being soldNor is the only trick to take advantage of the epidemic.

Criminal organizations are also trying to sell counterfeit medicines, other personal protective equipment and medical devices to “unsuspecting American consumers,” John Leonard, executive director of trade policies and programs at the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, told CNN.

Covid-19 has been a fertile time for other scams of all sorts to proliferate – and the most recent one as far as Vaccines.
While staying informed and up to date, you can report any fake masks to the CBP through Reporting system, Or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.
You can also report to National Center for the Coordination of Intellectual Property Rights Online or by phone at 1-866-IPR-2060.

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