COLUMBUS, Ohio — Proper now, the demand for N95 respirators is excessive, and there are counterfeits on the market.
Whenever you’re seeking to purchase one, a NIOSH mark is what you should search for. It stands for Nationwide Institute for Occupational Security and Well being.
“If that’s both not on the masks in some type, or if it is spelled incorrectly, you wish to guarantee that that is perhaps suspicious for a masks that might not be authorized or some kind of counterfeit,” defined Dr. Jessica Shepherd, Chief Medical Officer of Verywell Well being based mostly in New York Metropolis.
The CDC’s web site updates a database weekly of NIOSH-approved face masks and you’ll search by the identify of the producer to ensure yours is actual.
You will additionally wish to take note of how the respirator is worn.
“Guarantee that it really has areas which might be speculated to go on the highest of your head and in direction of the underside of your head on the again, it actually ought to have one thing that may be a headband greater than greater than what we might see as an ear loop,” mentioned Dr. Shepherd.
The CDC lists extra indicators a respirator could also be counterfeit: If it has no markings in any respect, has ornamental material, or claims to be authorized for youngsters. NIOSH would not approve any kind of respiratory safety for youths.
For KN95 masks, it is in all probability the sort you are seeing pop up extra usually on-line. These are imported from China, and could be a little extra tough to vet.
RELATED: Sure, you’ll be able to clear and reuse your KN95 or N95 masks utilizing a brown paper bag
Again in April 2020, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization to permit imported masks, like KN95s.
NIOSH has been working to evaluate the filtration effectivity of those masks — and — outcomes in line with the CDC, “don’t present the extent of safety anticipated. Whereas some have filtering efficiencies near 95%, most are measuring nicely under 95%.”
You possibly can verify these NIOSH assessments on its web site.
“What I’d say in the long run is I’d undoubtedly suggest a masks versus no masks,” Dr. Shepherd mentioned.
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