How Do You Spot a Fake N95 Mask Available in the Market?

How Do You Spot a Fake N95 Mask Available in the Market

Novel Coronavirus or Covid-19 has ravaged through most parts of the world with the United States, Italy and Spain witnessing the pandemic going beyond control. The virus originating from Wuhan City in China was the result of gross negligence and portrayal of China as a rogue nation in handling the outbreak.

They have further disrespected humanitarian ethos by supplying inferior quality face masks to Pakistan and PPE kits to Spain.

Most countries have recommended the use of outdoor masks, especially the N95 masks variants to restrict the virus outbreak in crowded regions.

Tom Ingleby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, categorically stressed upon the use of the masks and the advantages they can bring to prevent the outbreak.  But the question is what about the material quality of the N95 masks.

Why most people are apprehensive about their N95 masks and the intensity of protection, they can bring for the wearer. In this article, you will get to know all the details that accurately answer why it is hard to identify the material of the N95 masks.

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Why Are N95 Masks losing the veracity to emerge as a force multiplier in fighting against the Coronavirus Pandemic?

The purpose of the N95 masks was to vehemently control the spread of the virus in the infected areas. Precision stitching, layering and other minute adjustments made this mask full proof against the infection; hence people prefer wearing this mask to crowded places like grocery stores and travel areas, they feel entirely safe and sound. N95 masks have engineering done in such a way that they do the work better in comparison to homemade masks or regular masks. In the homemade masks, precision stitching with minimal gaps is not there. Such a practice would inflate the cost of the mask per unit. As a result, they can very well not protect the user against the spread of the virus. Often some gaps make the mask very quickly vulnerable to infection when there are minimal symptoms visible, and people come too close to the person infected.

On the other hand, when you talk about the N95 masks, the use of fine polypropylene fibers electrostatically charged catch the virus and keep them intact. Such a feature completely traps almost 95% of the Covid-19 infectious microorganisms, and this protects the healthcare workers who are at the frontlines treating the infected patients.

But the inferior grade or duplicate N95 masks that are available in the market have porous materials used to make the mask. In the duplicate N95 masks, the fiber used is soluble that swells in when a person is exposed to coughing, breathing or unprotected sneezing from the infected. At the same time, there is a lot of hues and cry that N95 masks provide better protection against the SARS Cov-2 or Novel Coronavirus infection.

To use this sentiment or belief system of the people, many companies are falsely selling the N95 masks with inferior grade material. Technically, breathing passage or airflow is low in N95 masks in comparison to the regular masks.

This feature allows them to trap maximum viruses in an exposed or infected area. Inferior grade fabric stimulates airflow, and people believe that they are having better protection against the virus outbreak using the N95 masks.

What is the Way Out?

  • filtering facepiece respirator has got no marking 
  • filtering facepiece respirator or headband must have approval TC number 
  • NIOSH markings non-visible
  • NIOSH incorrectly spelt
  • Should not have decorative fabrics 
  • Claims to be friendly to children or provide them high degree protection (NIOSH has no specific respiratory protection for children)
  • Filtering facepiece respirator shouldn’t have ear loops, rather, headbands
  • A label is there with the approval number to check and reconfirm digitally 

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