Many health agencies, including the Public Health branch of the Government of Canada, have now stated that medical masks and N95 respirator masks clearly provide better protection. People at a higher risk of infection or those in highly transmissible settings rely on N95 masks to help keep themselves and those around them safe. Medical masks and respirators sold in Canada are required to meet established standards for filtration, breathability and fluid resistance, reflected in NIOSH standards
. While a shortage of N95 respirator masks no longer exists, many counterfeit products have infiltrated the market. Here are seven ways you can tell the difference between a NIOSH certified N95 and a fake.
Here are seven signs that a respirator may be counterfeit:
While the pandemic persists it is best to practice due diligence when purchasing and using N95 respirators. Consult current lists of counterfeit products known to be circulating in your region and source out your PPE from reputable suppliers.
- No markings at all on the filtering facepiece respirator
- No approval (TC) number on filtering facepiece respirator or headband
- No NIOSH markings
- NIOSH spelled incorrectly
- Presence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons (e.g., sequins)
- Claims for the of approval for children (NIOSH does not approve any type of respiratory protection for children)
- Filtering facepiece respirator has ear loops instead of headbands