Prepare safety standards for 1:10 masks
(CNN) –– There’s a guide to face masks that hasn’t changed during the covid-19 pandemic – you should definitely wear one.
But what happens when you are not sure if your mask is authentic?
Since the pandemic began until April 2021, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has seized more than 34 million counterfeit masks entering the country, the agency told him. to CNN.
The N95 are the quintessential reference in the use of masks, but counterfeit imitations can threaten the safety of people. Failure to meet US safety standards means such products may not filter airborne particles effectively, the agency explained.
This is how you can spot a fake N95 mask.
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Most important: NIOSH approval
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This division focuses on the safety and health of workers.
Filtering facepiece respirators – a technical term that includes N95 masks – must be NIOSH certified before they can be used in any workplace.
Now, an N95 mask only gets an institute seal of approval when it filters at least 95% of airborne particles.
To find out if an N95 mask is fake or not, the NIOSH markings are the compass. But there is some research you can do before you even have a mask on hand.
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What to consider before buying an N95 mask?
When buying skins online, there are a few things you can ask yourself. This is explained by the CDC guide on how to spot fake personal protective equipment.
If you are buying directly through a website:
Are there typos, bad grammar, or other mistakes on the site? Are there any flaws in the website such as blank or unfinished pages, filler text, non-working links, and misspelled domains?
If you are buying from a third party trading platform:
Is the product described as “genuine” or “real”? Legitimate companies don’t need to tell buyers that their products are real. At least not in the name of the product. Are there reviews on the product or on the seller? Disgruntled buyers may reveal how faulty the product is or whether it is illegitimate. Is the price too good to be true? It’s probably a fake mask. Does the seller sell the same items over time or follow trends? Legitimate businesses tend to be consistent. Does the seller put their contact information in pictures? If so, they may be circumventing the platform’s policy on maintaining interactions between buyers and sellers on the site.
How to check if your N95 mask is real
But what if you already bought skins from a website or a trading platform and you don’t know if they are real?
Here’s your rule of thumb: if it has no marks, it is not approved.
NIOSH authorized masks have an approval label on them or inside their packaging. It may be in the box or in the user’s instructions. The mask must also have an abbreviated approval mark.
The approval number on your mask should start with “TC.” The product must also have the NIOSH logo imprinted on it. This image from the CDC can help you identify the markings on your mask.
You can then check the approval number on the NIOSH certified equipment list.
Other red flags to look out for include:
Any decorative element, such as sequins. Strips at the ears instead of headbands. Headbands are crucial to the N95’s snug fit. Affirmations of approval for children. NIOSH does not authorize masks for children. Masks allowed at US airports 2:35
Do you have a real N95 mask? Share these resources
CDC and NIOSH have resources to help you spot counterfeit masks or even other copycat personal protective equipment and medical equipment. You can start here and get more tips on how to examine skins. You can also look at photos of non-NIOSH approved masks.
Then you can read about how to protect yourself from buying counterfeit products.
Do you have a fake N95 mask? Report it
Fake masks aren’t the only counterfeit products on the market. Nor is it the only scam to profit from the pandemic.
Criminal organizations are also trying to sell counterfeit pharmaceuticals, other personal protection items and medical devices to “unsuspecting American consumers,” John Leonard, executive director of Business Policy and Programs at CBP, John Leonard, told CNN.
Covid-19 has been a fertile time for scams of all kinds to proliferate, the most recent regarding vaccines.
As long as you stay informed and up-to-date, you can report any counterfeit mask to CBP through their reporting system. Also by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.
In addition, you can inform the National Center for the Coordination of Intellectual Property Rights online or by phone at 1-866-IPR-2060.