An N95 respirator is a type of PPE or personal protective equipment widely used in the medical, mining, and construction industries. An N95 respirator is designed to filter at least 95% of air particles, especially the tiny hazardous airborne particles.
The N95 respirator is tested, approved, and regulated by the United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The N95 respirator of the US is very much similar to the other respirators like the KN95 of China and FFP2 of the European Union.
To effectively filter our tiny particles from the air, the N95 respirator should be worn properly. N95 respirator comes with an adjustable strap and nose clip that will help wearers to achieve a more personalized fit.
It is also worthy to note that the N95 respirator is not ideal for everyone, especially for young kids. It is impossible to achieve the required tight-fitting if the N95 respirator is worn by children. Also, the N95 respirator is not recommended for those with extreme facial hair and people with breathing problems.
3M and Counterfeit N95 Respirators
NIOSH has approved several companies to manufacture N95 respirators. These companies are required to meet specific standards and all their N95 masks are all monitored and tested.
One of the leading companies that have been producing NIOSH-approved N95 respirators is 3M. The N95 respirator from 3M comes in different models. There are some N95 respirator models designed for construction and industrial use while others are recommended for medical, surgical, or dental use.
3M is one of the trusted companies that manufacture N95 respirator or masks and their products are widely available online for sale.
Because of the spread of coronavirus all over the world, the demand for N95 respirator has significantly spiked. The N95 respirator is designed to filter out small particles in the air, making it an effective protective device to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
In order to answer the high demand for N95 masks, companies like 3M are increasing their production of N95 respirators. However, the demand for N95 respirator remains high and people are now forced to reuse the N95 respirator or use the other alternatives like cloth masks and disposable surgical masks.
Aside from the increasing demand of the N95 respirator, 3M has to deal with another problem with the N95 respirator. There has been a lot of counterfeited N95 respirator sold, not just online but in some physical stores as well within the United States and other countries around the globe.
3M announced that they filed lawsuits to sellers who are selling fake and defective N95 masks as well as those who are selling N95 respirators at a higher price.
One example of the legal action 3M took is against a seller on Amazon. Allegedly, the seller is selling the N95 respirator at a very high price, and the N95 respirator is said to be defected or damaged when delivered to the buyers.
3M is full-force on stopping the production and selling of fake N95 respirators. So far, 3M has successfully removed more than 7,000 websites because of counterfeit N95 respirator, more than 10,000 social media posts that are deceptive, and more than 100 internet addresses that are suspicious too.
All these actions and efforts from 3M have led to the recent 18 lawsuits in the United States and Canada. So far, the company has won six temporary restraining orders and four injunction orders.
Shortage of N95 Respirator
The coronavirus has affected millions of people in the United States and other countries. It made a significant impact on peoples’ businesses and lives. Because there is still no vaccine available, the only thing people can do is to prevent or stop the spread of the virus. A few effective ways to prevent the spread is to practice social distancing and wear a mask or N95 respirator.
Right now, there is a shortage of N95 masks in the US. To address the shortage problem, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance on how to extend the use of the N95 respirator. Health workers are encouraged to reuse their N95 respirators. After using them, the N95 respirator should be placed in a paper bag and after five days, once the virus degraded, the N95 respirator should be ready for reuse. Of course, proper decontamination process should also be involved to ensure its safety and full protection.
Aside from encouraging medical workers to reuse the N95 respirator, US authorities are also advising the public to use a reusable cloth face mask instead of an N95 respirator.
Now that the construction businesses are slowly resuming operations, workers and employers are worried about the recent N95 respirator shortage. For workers in the industrial and construction sectors, cloth masks or other disposable masks won’t be enough to provide them full protection against dust and other tiny particles.
Detecting Counterfeit N95 Respirator Online
Because of the presence of fake N95 respirator online, people are encouraged to be extra careful. Commonly, the N95 respirator that is not genuine is sold at a very cheap price. People should not be fooled by that. When buying the best N95 respirator, only purchase from a trusted shop. N95 respirator in stock or for sale should contain the NIOSH and N95 markings.
The N95 respirator, as a disposable face mask, is now considered as one of the important PPEs not only in the construction industry but also in the medical field. In times of coronavirus, when everyone wants to protect their family and kids, the N95 respirator has become a necessity for the Americans and for other people in the world.