The world was hit hard since the beginning of the year when the coronavirus pandemic started to reach every country. By now, most countries have been affected severely by this medical emergency, and the United States is no different. The consequences of the pandemic have been devastating. Besides all the people who have died or gotten very sick, the pandemic has affected the economy and social aspects of our lives.
By now most of us know that N95 masks are the best way to protect us from getting infected with the virus. This item used to be known only by workers in fields where they need to use it for safety. But now, the whole world has been fighting about whether or not we’re producing enough of them, should we focus completely on N95 mask production, or if they should be left to be used for healthcare workers only.
Either way, the demand for this product has increased significantly during the last few months. This situation led people to fall for scams and other types of crimes where they end up not getting the right product. For this reason, it’s important to know what is an N95 mask, how it looks, and what are the legitimate models available for purchase online.
N95 masks: what are they?
As we mentioned, N95 masks might be the most valuable item right now, which is why people are taking advantage of the fear in the general population. As the demand increases and more people buy N95 respirators in bulk or wholesale, the more scams there will be. A lot of people deceive the general population saying they sell 3M N95 masks like the 3M 8210 or the 3M 8511 models.
These masks are really important for virus protection, especially for healthcare workers. They are not the same as medical or surgical face masks, even though they are also disposable face masks (meaning they’re not reusable). N95 respirators can filter out at least 95% of all airborne particles that are not oil-based. These particles include smoke, dust, or viruses like the flu or the coronavirus.
This is because N95 masks are not resistant to oil and have a minimum particulate filtration rate of 95%. This is all according to the respirator classification made by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the institution in charge of preventing any work-related injuries or illnesses. This makes the N95 mask a very valuable item during the pandemic, and this value is the reason they’re being targeted by scammers.
For an N95 mask to be legitimate and work as well as it’s supposed to work, it must have an approval stamp by NIOSH. If it’s targeted to be used as medical equipment, it needs an additional approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Any disposable face mask that isn’t approved by NIOSH can’t be sold as an N95 mask because it doesn’t offer the same protection.
N95 mask scams
A big problem right now is the selling of N95 masks, especially online. With the increase in the demand of these antiviral face masks, and with physical stores being sold out or closed because of social distancing rules in the USA, most people have turned to the internet to buy personal protective equipment (PPE).
A lot of the masks for sale online that have “N95” all over their publicity are not NIOSH-approved N95 masks. It’s easier for people to get scammed online, and this is very dangerous. Anyone who uses fake N95 masks thinking they’re protected, especially healthcare workers who are in high-risk situations, are potentially getting infected or infecting other people.
This is also a big problem because most N95 mask sellers are increasing their prices incredibly, taking advantage of the demand. So, spending a lot of money on N95 masks for them to not be legitimate is worst. People inside high-risk groups for mortality or severe illness from COVID-19 are also in dangerous situations when using fake N95 masks, like those with obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, old people, or immunocompromised patients.
N95 mask models available online
By now we all probably know that 3M is the biggest American company when it comes to all types of PPE. Right now, their most valuable item is the N95 mask, and they are doing their part in increasing significantly their production of this item. According to their website, since the pandemic began and under the instruction of the government, 3M has doubled its production of N95 masks starting in January.
They are the most important N95 supplier in the world as well, but have been focusing on prioritizing the domestic supply of N95 masks. You can easily find them online sold by their official distributors.
Respokare is the brand of N95 respirators sold in the website N95 Mask Co. They are approved by NIOSH, as they are a part of their certified manufacturers list as Innonix. This is the manufacturer of the brand Respokare, and N95 Mask Co are their distributors. They are high-quality and certified N95 masks you can find online with full security that you’re not getting scammed.
Another big American brand of N95 masks and PPE is Honeywell. They are 3M’s main competitors, and have also been increasing significantly their production since the beginning of the year. Their new line of production inside the USA has helped meet the domestic demand for this valuable item. You can also purchase them safely online through their official distributors.
It’s important to stay protected by always purchasing high-quality products. You can find other protective items like face shields or KN95 masks, and even find disposable face masks in a smaller size for kids. We must leave medical-grade masks for healthcare workers, and stay protected at all times.