How to Check If Your N95 Respirator Mask Is Real!
Demand for N95 respirator mask is increasing by the minute in the US. To fulfill the shortage many players are entering the supply market of N95 respirators. Along with that, FDA has allowed the import of respirator masks from the rest of the world.
Although these desperate measures are being taken to curb the shortfall, it has resulted in another major problem. Many hospitals and health facilities have reported delivery of hundreds of counterfeit masks. CDC issued warning in this regard, owing to rising complaints of counterfeit masks.
Importance of NIOSH-approved N95 respirator mask: -
Employers are advised to order only NIOSH-approved N95 respirators for their employees. N95 respirators constitute as one of the most important part of PPE. It protects employees from the potential dangers of infectious airborne particles. Their well being relies heavily on well functioning respirator masks. Hence, the respirators used at workplace must be tested and certified so as to provide an effective line of defense against hazardous infections and viruses.
Indications of NIOSH-approved respirators: -
Look for following indications on your N95 respirator‘s packaging in order to ensure that it is certified by NIOSH: -
- The logo or name of NIOSH,
- Mention of filter category which is N95,
- Approval number of NIOSH test and certification,
- The manufacturer’s business name, registered trademark or a commonly known abbreviation,
- The model number,
- The manufacturing batch number.
First step in verification of your N95 respirator mask is to check for all these markings. If any of these markings are missing consider it as a red flag. Usage of such a mask is not recommended in a potentially hazardous environment.
Additional ways to check if your N95 respirator mask is real: -
You need to investigate the details of the seller carefully before bulk buying masks from it. Especially when making online purchase you need to be extra cautious. The listings on auction sites or third party sellers, there is always a link for the manufacturer’s website. Click on that to check the legitimacy of the business. Look for product reviews on the auction site. See if past customers faced problems in using the product or found it as fake. In that case, there would be consumer complaints and reviews against the product.
You need to check if the seller has been selling the same product over a considerable period of time or is it just going with the flow of the market forces. Usually genuine manufacturers are those who have been in a particular field for a long period of time. They tend to have stability in their line of business rather than selling what is trending. Therefore, check for business’s genuineness through its website.
Apart from this, catchy slogans such as ‘unlimited stock” might not sound attractive in such crucial times of shortage of supplies. It might also mean that the product is not good enough reason why huge stocks are lying idle.
N95 Respirator Mask
Many manufacturers float counterfeit asks at a lower price which cost-savvy employers buy conveniently. Some manufacturers claim that their masks give additional protection against specific diseases such as coronavirus. However, NIOSH does not certify respirators against specific diseases or illnesses. Some respirators claim to have an added filter giving antimicrobial treatment. However, NIOSH does not evaluate effectiveness of such additives. These models need to get them certified from FDA. Apart from this, some manufacturers get certification initially however, recently NIOSH has revoked the certification. Employers need to be careful of such suppliers of N95 respirator mask.