There are so many different kinds of N95 masks in the market that people need to know more about it. There are also so many kinds of products that are claiming to be an N95 mask that is approved by me you wish but it is not.

In this article, it is the priority of the writer to talk about different kinds of N95 masks and how do you know if the mask is actually approved by the experts in NIOSH. 

What Is NIOSH approval And Why Is It Important?

The NIOSH is one of the most important regulatory bodies of 2020. You have probably not heard about the NIOSH back in the past; you have probably heard about it maybe just in passing or maybe none at all. What is important is that you know about it now. The following are the important facts about this regulatory body that makes it the authority when it comes to the production of respiratory filtration products like N95 masks and N95 respirators.

  • NIOSH stands for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA, requires that only NIOSH-certified respirators are to be used to protect workers

How To Know If An N95 Mask Is NIOSH Approved?

To know if the  N95 Mask product that you are using is actually approved by the NIOSH, there are a few signs that you should look out for. Let us discuss them one by one.

First, there should be the approval label on the respirator itself. when a respirator has been approved by the regulatory body, the approval event will be found on the respirator itself or it may be found on the users manual or on the box itself. This approval label is important because it can get checked on the website to determine if the respirator has been approved by the ocean. There are different ways for you to check on the NIOSH website and they are the following:

  • Verify which respirators are NIOSH-certified. Obviously, in order to find out if the product is fake you need to know which products are actually original or have been approved by the regulatory are you hence it is important to do your right research when it comes to the respirators and make sure that you know the original and to check if the product that you have is original or not.
  • Review the User Instructions. Make sure that you review the user instructions. The user instructions will tell you a lot about the product. It is checked by authorities before release so there will be no grammatical errors or big errors that you will find in it.
  • Access Respirator User Notices. This is part of your research.

Second, the markings should be found on the packaging, the user instruction, and on the respirator itself. There are specific markings that should be found on the packaging of the N95 mask. These specific markings are actually there because of the fact that NIOSH wants to ensure that every buyer would know if he has the original thing or not. To know if you have the original N95 mask, the following markings should be there:

  • The NIOSH name or logo;
  • The NIOSH filter classification;
  • The NIOSH test and certification - or TC - approval number;
  • The Approval Holder's business name, registered trademark, or an easily understood abbreviation;
  • The model or part number; and
  • The manufacturing lot number.

How To Know If An N95 Mask Is Not NIOSH approved? 

Basically, any kind of N95 mask or any kind of respirator that claims to be NIOSH approved but does not fall under any of the above discussions are not NIOSH approved. As long as the product does not fall under claiming that it is approved by the regulatory process body, it is just an N95 mask that is not NIOSH approved but it does not necessarily mean that it is a counterfeit.

How To Know If An N95 Mask Is A Counterfeit?

To know if an N95 mask is a counterfeit, it is important to know the definition of what a counterfeit respirator is. A counterfeit respirator is basically a product that is advertised, marketed, and sold as being approved by the regulatory body NIOSH when in fact it is not. A counterfeit N95 mask can easily be identified through the following missing characteristics:

  • When there are no markings at all on the filtering facepiece respirator
  • When there is no approval (TC) number on filtering facepiece respirator or headband
  • When there is an obvious lack of NIOSH markings
  • When the word NIOSH spelled incorrectly
  • If the mask claims to be an N95 mask but there is a presence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons
  • Filtering facepiece respirator has ear loops instead of headbands
  • When it claims that it has been approved for children.

Get From Reputable Sellers

It is important that you get your supply of N95 masks from reputable sellers. The only way that you can be sure that you have a product that is legitimate is to buy it from the one that the manufacturer approved as a seller.  Keep in mind that as an individual who may not be in the medical field you are not expected to know about The important details of a mask, specifically a mask that has been created for a specialized purpose like the N95 mask and the N95 respirators. 

To prevent any kind of problems that may arise from not knowing if the N95 mask product you know or have the product you bought is original, counterfeit, or whether it has been approved by the important government regulatory bodies, the best thing that you can do is to allow yourself to buy the ones that are certified from the sellers that are also certified.

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