How to check if your N95 respirator mask is real or fake

Spotting a fake mask

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The CDC warning about counterfeit N95 masks are being sold in-stores and online.

N95 or greater respirators have become a hot commodity as people search for protection from the deadly COVID-19 virus.

The CDC says fake respirators are being marketed and sold as being approved by the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory’s by printing their seal “NIOSH” on the mask or packaging.

Signs that a respirator may be counterfeit:

  • 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

A real NIOSH approved respirator has a label on or within the packaging of the mask, along with an approval number.

Click here to verify if your respirator mask is certified by NIOSH.

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