5 simple ways to spot fake N95 masks

During the past six to seven months the world has seen a greater change across all the countries. These changes have been, due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Coronavirus has altered the world on wider grounds. The first COVID-19 case Reported by china at the end of 2019. Later on, this disease keeps on spreading to the other provinces of china and effected many people.

China started the precautionary measures as no proper treatment of this disease was discovered. China also made the world aware of the virus as it was spreading quickly from one person to another. But soon the virus reached to the other countries of the world.  America Received its first case at the end of January 2020. In a short period of time, the cases grew to thousands as no proper treatment was discovered for the COVID-19. 

The virus reached New York as the epicenter of the pandemic. The situation led to personal protection equipment. As the disease was spreading from person to person quickly so PPEs included the N95 respirators, surgical and medical masks to the equipment. CDC and FDA issued the guideline to use the NIOSH verified N95 respirators and p for the general public.

However, the increased demand for N95 masks led to a critical shortage of PPE. N95 masks were not available in the market for the general public and medical staff. The situation proved to be a platform that provided fake manufacturers to try their luck. So they started their own business of fake N95 masks. They launched their fake N95 masks in the market during the shortage period.

These N95 masks were similar to the original ones. But they proved to be less effective. Soon different organizations and the health institutes recognized the presence of these fake N95 masks in the market. 

They started a campaign to make people aware of the fake N95 masks. Proper guidance and instructions were issued by NIOSH, CDC, FDA, and 3M company. This guidance included the information to differentiate between the fake and original N95 masks. They also issued the drawbacks of using fake N95 Masks.

As the primary function of N95 respirators is filtration and N95 masks can filter 95% dust particles and other micro-organisms. But the fake N95 cannot perform this function with such accuracy. So the original N95 masks act like a guard that protects the individual from the external threats but a fake N95 mask also acts as a guard with a fake gun.

Following guidelines were issued by the NIOSH and FDA to spot the fake N95 masks.

FDA Registration and clearance; FDA started the registration and clearance of the original N95 masks to spot the fake N95 masks. FDA does not approve the N95 masks. FDA checked the product and cleared it for the sale. After the clearance of the FDA, the N95 masks are sent to the market for sale. The fake manufacturers also followed the instruction to mislead the people and started writing approved by FDA but FDA cleared the N95 masks not approve.

So the original N95 masks are cleared by FDA and printed as FDA-Cleared not approved. The FDA approved masks are fake not the original one. The first sign to spot out the fake N95 masks is FDA cleared not approved.  

FDA Logo on the Box;

The fake manufacturers started printing the logo of the FDA on the box of N95 masks. The logo on the box indicates that the product is not original its fake N95 masks as the FDA does not label or paste its logo on the box of the N95 masks. So the N95 respirators with logo on the box are non-authorized and fake as mentioned in the FDA instructions.

“If the box or the label has an FDA logo, it DEFINITELY NOT APPROVED BY FDA”. It is the second sign to indicate or spot the fake N95 respirators available in the market.

N95 Respirator with loose ear loop

The third sign to spot the fake N95 masks is the loose ear loop of the masks. As the original N95 masks have a fitting ear loop. It changes from person to person having different sizes of the ear but mostly the original N95 masks are fit to the ear of the person. The new N95 masks with the head loop are also available in the market.

In this way, through the ear loop, we can indicate and spot the fake N95 masks. As the fake N95 masks have a loose ear loop. A loose ear loop means you are not as safe as the virus and other dust particles can easily reach the nose and mouth of the person through the loose area.

No NIOSH Marking or NIOSH spelled incorrectly

Other Signs to spot fake N95 masks is the marking or labeling of the NIOSH. As the original N95 masks have marking and labeling of NIOSH on the mask. The loose packaging of the N95 masks also indicates the fake N95 masks. The original N95 masks have tight packaging. Marking and labeling of NIOSH on the box. The spellings of NIOSH on the fake N95 masks are also spelled incorrectly.

In this way, by checking the spelling of NIOSH, we can easily spot the fake and original N95 masks. So the correct spellings, marking, and labeling by NIOSH must be checked to easily spot the fake N95 respirators

Claims for the of approval for children;

The N95 masks with approval of respiratory protection for the children are fake as NIOSH does not claim any respiratory protection for the children on using the N95 masks. So the labeling of the instruction that claims the respiratory protection of children is fake. In this way, we can easily spot the fake N95 masks by following the above-mentioned instructions. 

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