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How to Spot Fraudulent N95 Masks?

How to Spot Fraudulent N95 Masks

N95 masks are best protective masks that people around the world rush to different stores to purchase. These respirators offer filtration greater than 95% of airborne elements through the advanced electrostatic filter media, providing an excellent way to ensure you do not inhale any bacteria or viral particles in the air. 

With this said, N95 masks have experienced an abrupt increase in demand and have become the highly sought-after PPE for general public and medical staff; the question is still the same – how can we spot the N95 face mask we have is actually legit? 

Let’s discuss a checklist that you can use to ensure your N95 face mask is real and used appropriately.

CDC-Approved N95 Masks

Numerous suppliers try to use CDC approval as a significant point in building credibility. However, you must know that the CDC approval for N95 face masks is equivalent as being NIOSH Approved. N95 mask is a class-3 device, it must FDA clearance and then the respirator must be approved by NIOSH. It is best to compare the TC# number printed on each N95 mask and compare it to the database of all approved N95 masks at CDC/NIOSH official website.

The FDA consists of a process including two steps in which any business can submit the products for registering before getting approval or clearance. This registration certificate is provided in exchange for FDA fees to register the device. Officially, the respirators can only say FDA-Approved if they are on an Emergency Use Authorization list, provided on FDA website. 

N95 Respirators Having the FDA Logo 

The FDA does not allow the suppliers to place an FDA logo on the box of N95 face masks. If you have this mask with the logo, it means you may get counterfeit masks. If the label or package includes the FDA logo, they are not FDA approved, definitely!

What is the Difference Between FFP1 and N95 Masks?

It is expected that the consumers may mistake FFP1 masks for N95 respirators. It is because various governments may use multiple kinds of labeling on two mask respirators having similar function. However, label requirements do state that each respirator is marked clearly as to its' type - whether it is FFP1, FFP2, KN95 or N95.

FFP1 respirators filter almost 80% of airborne particles, and thus they cannot be used as an N95 correspondent. If you are purchasing from a Europe supplier, the equal of N95 mask is FFP2, which is rated at 94%. 

You should be careful while buying an N95 face mask as several companies are trying to sell fraudulent masks. I hope this guide helps you a lot!