When it comes to masksThe N95 is the gold standard.
It fits snug when worn right. It filters out 95 percent of what’s floating around out there. It’s the maskYou want to be permanently affixed on the faces of your frontline workers. The news of your arrest has alarmed the general public. virusVariants and calls for double-masking are all welcome.
N95s still have a high demand even one year after the pandemic. And at the same time, they’re being massively faked.
Millions of counterfeit N95s — masks that filter out 95 percent of airborne particles — have been seized by federal agents in recent weeks. Fake devices have been sold to hospitals and medical facilities, as well as government agencies. Potential victims in many states were warned that they may have unwittingly purchased imposters.
The problem: Someone wearing what’s supposed to be an N95 could assume there’s more protection than exists. Fakes aren’t tested at strict N95 standards and could be risky for workers treating patients who have COVID-19.
“They’re extremely dangerous,”Steve K. Francis, assistant director of the Global Trade Investigations Division, Homeland Security Investigations, stated at a recent news conference. “They’re providing a false sense of security to our first-line responders, to American consumers.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t recommend N95s for the general public, saying those masks “should be reserved for healthcare workers.”Although the initial scarcity in N95s has subsided, medical personnel are reportedly reusing the devices. masksThey are considered a one-time product,
The CDC does say that people who use public transportation, take care of someone with COVID-19, are at increased risk for illness themselves or work around lots of others — driving a bus or bagging groceries, for example — might consider masksWith extra protection
You can also include KN95 masksThese are made in China and look similar to N95s. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists China’s-made products masksIt is authorized to be used in an emergency situation.
New York woman wearing a KN95 mask.
The CDC warns that KN95 is still being used by approximately 60% of the population. masks in the United States are counterfeit and don’t meet N95 mask standards.
Real N95 masksThey have been approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and will include an NIOSH approval label or in the packaging as well as an approval # on the package mask.
You can spot fakes on websites claiming to sell N95s and on actual websites. masksAccording to the CDC: Look out for poor grammar, typos and errors. “legitimate”Or “genuine.”Other warning signs
Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines
Get our DayStarter newsletter for free
We’ll deliver the latest news and information you need to know every weekday morning.
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.
Explore all optionsNIOSH is incorrectly spelled.The primary contact email address for the seller’s website is a free email service.The seller claims NIOSH approval for a child’s mask. (NIOSH doesn’t approve masks(For children.)The maskDecorative fabric or add-ons, such as sequins.The maskInstead of bands that wrap around the head, it has ear loops. (KN95 masksHowever, they have ear loops.
On its website, cdc.gov, the CDC offers a list of N95s approved by manufacturers as well as a graphic that shows how they are used. maskWith the approved markings.
Even with the gold-standard of masksMichael Teng, a USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Virolist, stated that fitness is as important filtration.
If air escapes from the sides of the container, it can cause a leakage. mask isn’t doing the job. Some health care workers even get fitted for their N95. masks — in Teng’s case, exposed to a foul-smelling chemical to see if it permeated. (It didn’t.)
“If it doesn’t suck onto your face as you breathe in, it’s not going to be useful,”He said.
The CDC has a wealth of advice for other countries. masks.
A cloth maskMulti-layered nose wires should be used. They should also be thick enough to block light from bright lights. Disposable masksAlso, it should be multi-layered as well as nose-wired.
“The surgical mask is pretty effective, particularly if you get it to fit your face,”Teng said.
His tip: Keep the ear loops in the vicinity of the ears. faceWhere air can get in, the maskFits snugly. UNC Health has a YouTube video that shows how to adjust an ear-loop. maskIt can be up to 20% more effective.
The CDC also provides thin guidelines masks masksExhalation valves and vents, a big thumbs-down
No, you can’t wear a hat. maskIt is not possible to work below the nose. “It’s like chin-masking,”Teng.