BINGHAMTON, NY – With omicron surging, some people are opting to get better quality masks.
The problem is, many masks claiming to be N95/KN95 aren’t real.
These masks must be NIOSH approved and will come with a certification.
Here are some ways to figure out if the masks you want to, or have, purchased are real according to the CDC:
- There are no markings at all on the mask
- No approval number can be found on the facepiece or headband
- No NIOSH markings at all
- NIOSH is spelled wrong
- There is some sort of decorative fabric or add ons
- There are claims the mask is approved for children (NIOSH does not approve respiratory protection for children)
- The mask has ear loops instead of headbands.
If you want to order these masks online, the CDC has additional recommendations before you click purchase:
- Read the reviews and check out the seller, if possible
- Does the seller sell the same items over time, or do they just sell what’s trendy? Legitimate business suppliers will sell the same products over time.
- Are there price changes or swings?
- How much inventory do they have? “Unlimited Stock” is usually a bad sign in the wake of omicron.
- Can the seller be easily contacted or do they hid their information?
- Does the website have errors and typos?
- Is the primary contact email address connected to the website or do they use a free account?
Still unsure? Visit the CDC’s website for pictures and examples on counterfeit masks.