What does the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommend you to do with a counterfeit N95 mask?

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health—NIOSH

NIOSH is an American agency that determines whether a product is suitable and safe for the public or not. NIOSH—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health—determines the effectiveness and longevity of a product by conducting a series of tests on it. The product that accomplishes in passing all of those tests becomes a NIOSH-approved product. If NIOSH approves a product, it means that the general public can use the product without any fear. 

Since NIOSH has approved the use of N95 respirators, N95 respirators can be used by the general public if they want to. NIOSH is an American federal agency that does the job of testing the effectiveness and efficacy of products. 

N95 respirator

The N95 respirator is the most indispensable part of medical gear or protection gear that assists the wearer in filtering out airborne particulates of the novel coronavirus. Polypropylene is the material that has been utilized in manufacturing the N95 respirator. Medical personnel deems it as one of the best materials for the production of the N95 respirator. Because of polypropylene’s effectiveness, N95 respirators have been used. A large number of diseases can be prevented if you wear the N95 respirator. 

These diseases include the novel coronavirus, the influenza virus, and swine flu, etc. There are a plethora of reasons as to why the N95 respirator is the best respiratory protection device or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Those primary reasons are bacterial filtration efficiency, efficacy, effectiveness, durability, comfortability, and quality; this is what makes the N95 respirator far more effective and unique than the other face masks such as surgical masks. 

NIOSH—which is an American federal agency—has agreed to the usage of N95 respirators. One of the most trusted sources for testing products and determining their effectiveness is NIOSH. 

Counterfeit N95 respirators

Counterfeit respirators are face masks that are sold to the general public of the United States. The public is told that such respirators have been approved by NIOSH. Therefore, people buy them. However, such respirators are counterfeit. These respirators may have some resemblance with the N95 respirators, but their effectiveness is not even close to the N95 respirator. It may seem as if you are looking at the N95 respirator. However, in reality, it is a normal face mask that has been given the title of the N95 respirator. 

Hence, it is integral to never believe in websites that sell such products. Anyway, there are numerous ways through which you can determine what N95 respirator is fine, and what N95 respirator is counterfeit. If NIOSH gets told about a counterfeit N95 respirator, those respirator models are posted at the CDC’s official website to alert the users to not purchase it. 

Identification of NIOSH-approved N95 respirators

There are a few ways to check whether you have been using the N95 respirator or not. NIOSH-approved N95 respirators have an approval label either on or within the package of the N95 respirator. The NIOSH’s approval label may have been labeled on the box itself, or perhaps it will be labeled on the place where instructions are written for the user. A Filtering Facepiece Respirator (FFR) always has an abbreviated approval on itself. You can determine whether the approval number of the N95 respirator you have is written on the NIOSH Certified Equipment List (CEL) or not. 

If the NIOSH’s list does not have the approval number on your N95 respirator, your N95 respirator is counterfeit. On the other hand, if your N95 respirator’s model name or number is written on the NIOSH’s approved list of N95 respirators, your N95 respirator is real. NIOSH trusted source page and NIOSH Certified Equipment List (CEL) are the best places to check whether the N95 respirator you have been using is real or counterfeit. N95 respirators will have one of the designations that have been listed in the following: N95, N99, N100, P96, P99, and P100. 

Signs that indicate an N95 respirator may be counterfeit

There are a lot of ways to check whether the N95 respirator is counterfeit or not. Such Filtering Facepiece Respirators—FFR—do not have any sort of markings at all. A counterfeit N95 respirator does not have an approval number on FFR. There are no marks of NIOSH on a counterfeit N95 respirator. The spelling of NIOSH may be misspelled if you are using a counterfeit N95 respirator. If your N95 respirator has one of the following signs, it shows that the N95 respirator you are using is not real.

Another major sign of a counterfeit N95 respirator is that such respirators are decorated or they have decorations over the surface of the respirator. Such respirators are always suspicious. For example, some might have designs of flowers on them, and some of them may have other designs over the respirator. NIOSH has never approved the use of N95 respirators for children. Counterfeit N95 respirators claim that the N95 respirator is suitable for children, or the N95 respirator is approved for children. 

However, those N95 respirators are not either NIOSH-approved or real. There is another sign that indicates your N95 respirator is not real. Such Filtering Facepiece Respirators—FFR—have ear loops instead of headbands. If your N95 respirator has ear loops, your N95 respirator is not real—which also means that the effectiveness level of your N95 respirator is beyond less. 

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