The United States has suffered a lot during the last six months. The COVID-19 pandemic started around March of this year, after the first case was reported in December of last year. Since then, the virus has spread all over the world, not only the USA, leaving behind an important number of deaths and other types of consequences.
Unemployment, economic problems, healthcare workers getting sick and dying, mental health issues for social distancing rules, and many other problems we never thought we would be suffering have become part of our daily life. But, there’s one problem that has been concerning manufacturers since day one: N95 masks scams.
Before the pandemic, not many of us knew what N95 respirators were. Now, the demand for this valuable item has increased so many people quickly began to take advantage of the vulnerability and fear of the general public. People started to buy this effective antiviral disposable face mask in bulk and wholesale, and scammers began to cash on the situation.
To be informed is the best protection against these scams. Knowing the safe places to buy them online, what they look like, and how to know if an N95 mask is legitimate, are essential to avoid scams. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know before purchasing these face masks online.
Best websites for purchasing N95 masks
- N95 Mask Co
They are the official distributors of the N95 mask brand Respokare®, a NIOSH-approved N95 respirator that was developed amid the pandemic. Even though they’ve been in the PPE industry for over 19 years, they worked on this respirator that not only filters out the virus, but also inactivates up to 99.9% of all the particles that go through it.
- Clinical Supplies
Clinical Supplies USA is a high-quality and legitimate website that is committed to supply safety to everyone inside the United States. If you’re in San Diego, they provide same-day shipping. Their most popular item is the 3M N95 mask and KN95 masks. They’ve also done their part by donating over $150,000 in medical supplies and PPE to their local communities.
- Honest PPE Supply
PPE shortages, overpriced face masks, and the selling of fake N95 masks are some of the biggest problems right now. Honest PPE supply was created as a solution to these issues, for people to feel safe while purchasing their PPE. A family-owned business that brings into the USA all types of PPE produced overseas.
- USA Medical and Surgical Supplies
This online store offers a wide range of PPE brands that are legitimate and high-quality, including 3M and many other NIOSH-approved models. This is an American company that offers really good prices for quality products.
N95 mask scams
One big problem that has come from the pandemic is the rise of scams from N95 masks “sellers”. The great fear and uncertainty of the general public led to people buying tons of N95 masks online, since physical stores were soon sold out or closed because of social distancing rules. But, the safety of buying online is not as big as people think, since it’s easier to get scammed when buying on the internet.
Since March, a lot of people have been charged for selling millions of N95 masks and not delivering them. This is all happening while hospitals and the government are struggling to increase the production of medical and surgical supplies to meet the needs of our healthcare workers, which are at higher risk of infection.
During the last months a total of $799 million worth of N95 masks schemes has been discovered by law enforcement across the USA. In New Jersey, for example, a car dealer posed as a 3M N95 mask seller, and sold 7 million N95 respirators that weren’t delivered, making $45 million in the process, since he also sold them at a 400% markup. Since the pandemic started, the complaints about scams have increased by 35%.
The item everyone is talking about: N95 masks, also known as N95 respirators. These are the reason scammers are having such a good time making money by taking advantage of a vulnerable and delicate situation. These are not the same as medical or surgical face masks, even though they’re both disposable face masks that are not reusable.
Unlike regular face masks, N95 respirators fall into the NIOSH classification for respirators. NIOSH stands for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the federal agency in charge of anything related to work safety. This means that they have to regulate the types of personal protective equipment that are safe to be used in work environments with respiratory hazards. These include jobs where workers are in contact with smoke, dust, or viruses, like the one that causes the flu.
This classification is based on mainly two characteristics: resistance to oil and minimum particulate filtration efficacy. According to it, N95 masks are not resistant to oil and can filter out at least 95% of all airborne particles. This means this mask offers the best virus protection there is. This is why these masks are being sold out everywhere. Some popular N95 mask models include 3M N95 masks, like the 3M 8210 or 3M 8511 models.
It’s super important to make sure your N95 mask is labeled as NIOSH approved to make sure it’s completely safe to use it. Anyone who uses an N95 mask without this label is at high risk of getting infected or infecting others. If you’re a healthcare worker and want to use it as medical equipment, your mask also needs and approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Everyone should stay protected during this time. If you’re going out, make sure to use your protective equipment, like a face mask, face shield, or KN95 masks, which you can find easily for sale online. For kids, make sure to use a smaller size. Remember that everyone needs protection, this way we can help everyone in our community.