by Ida DomingoThursday, January 13th 2022
4VIEW ALL PHOTOSFILE – In this Friday, March 5, 2021 file photo, a restaurant worker holds his face mask in Biloxi, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
WASHINGTON (7News) — As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is considering updating its mask guidance due to the spread of the omicron variant, scammers online are selling counterfeit N95 and KN95 masks.
The CDC says as people decide to upgrade their cloth masks to masks with a level of higher protection, like KN95 and N95, they should be careful and do their research before buying anything online.
SEE ALSO | CDC considers updating mask guidance
The agency reported that about 60% of N95 or KN95 masks in the market are counterfeit and do not meet the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requirements.null
Per the CDC, here’s how to identify a NIOSH-approved respirator:
- NIOSH-approved respirators have an approval label on or within the packaging of the respirator (i.e. on the box itself and/or within the users’ instructions). Additionally, an abbreviated approval is on the FFR itself.
- You can verify the approval number on the NIOSH Certified Equipment List (CEL) or the NIOSH Trusted-Source page to determine if the respirator has been approved by NIOSH.
- NIOSH-approved FFRs will always have one of the following designations: N95, N99, N100, R95, R99, R100, P95, P99, P100.
Example of the Correct Exterior Markings on a NIOSH-Approved Filtering Facepiece Respirator. (CDC)
Signs that a respirator mask may be counterfeit:
- No markings at all on the filtering facepiece respirator
- No approval (TC) number on filtering facepiece respirator or headband
- No NIOSH markings
- NIOSH spelled incorrectly
- Presence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons (e.g., sequins)
- Claims of approval for children (NIOSH does not approve any type of respiratory protection for children)
- Filtering facepiece respirator has ear loops instead of headbands
Example of a counterfeit N95, KN95 masks (CDC)
The CDC has a full list of approved and non-approved masks here.
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