The CDC warns of counterfeit N95/KN95 masks

Originally published at: The CDC warns of counterfeit N95/KN95 masks | Boing Boing


Sadly just about all the black KN95s are fake.


This is exactly why we are not allowed to use N95s purchased on our own, and can only use those issued by UVA. Damn grifters are literally killing people, and there will be no repercussions for it.


But they’re making $$$$… but capitalism is built on truth, justice, and the American way!!! /s

Fuck this timeline right in the god damn ear.


with a 12 gauge.


About 60% KN95 respirators in the United States are counterfeit (fake)

But aren’t “free” markets supposed to disincentivise lying? /s



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Maybe, over the course of decades. In the meantime, the scammers, sorry the “entrepreneurs,” will be laughing all the way to the bank. And isn’t that the way it always seems to work out?


Only if those decades involve significant regulation. Otherwise, left to “self-regulate”, over time it just becomes another market for used cars.


Let’s take a moment to appreciate Amazon’s ability to make this happen.

Also, what’s with the N95 mask? I’m not allowed to wear them to the office unless I get a fit test with the Risk Management folks, since they’re safety gear administered by OSHA and must be worn properly.

And I have no idea where to buy KN95 masks that are certified by an actual certification body rather than just having ‘certified’ printed on the mask by whoever made it in their garage factory.


Even if market self-regulation or “the invisible hand of the market” worked as their proponents describe, we are still talking about a process that would take decades to work itself out, leaving consumers at the mercy of the unscrupulous until then. Even the proponents of these ideas have no ideas for what everyone is supposed to do while waiting for things to work themselves out.


I’m so tired.


If they are not fitted and worn properly, the effectiveness is markedly diminished. And if they are properly fit and worn, they are not comfortable.

I would put up my own pics, but let’s face it, ain’t nobody got time for that. Plus, self-doxxing is dumb.


I wear KF94 instead. The KN95 masks are made in China and as you said do not have regulation/certification around them. The KF94 masks are made in Korea and do have a certification process (Korean Ministry of Food and Safety).


Costco Business centers frequently sell a black trifold KN95 that I hope is legit. They’ve been carrying them for a while, so I hope that means something and that they would have discontinued them if they were counterfeit.

That being said, I’m sticking to using the Auras I have. Not as pretty, but fit well and are breathable.


This shows the unintended consequences of well intended regulation. Pre-pandemic, this was a good thing keeping employees safe in hazardous environments, because they can’t go into the hazard without a safely fitted respirator. But mid pandemic businesses that issue masks are giving employees procedural masks for general use for covid, masks that are not respiratory protection, and thus do not require fit testing, which saves the company time and money at the expense of worker safety. Thus, the OSHA fit testing rules are insuring that employees have worse overall safety from covid rather than better. (And the GD 6 judge SCOTUS has declared that covid infected air at your work isn’t a work hazard…GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.)

Fit testing is great for when it is go, no go, where you won’t go into the hazard if you can’t get fit tested for a respirator. But for covid, where you are already in the hazard you are better off wearing a respirator grade mask, even if it isn’t fit tested, than using a procedural mask, which isn’t designed to fit tightly.

However, I’m often wearing elastomeric respirators now. You can check the fit your self by covering the ports and breathing in or out. You should get no air movement when you do.

Several respirator companies have modified their respirators to make a version that filters both ways, including MSA (Advantage 900), GVS (a version of their Elipse), Dentec (a white no valve version of their Comfort) and 3M (which sells model 604 exhalation filters for their 6000 series respirators).


No, but, you can wear a black cloth mask over your N95 one to jazz it up.

So a face N95 mask should be as good as a cloth/surgical mask - just doesn’t provide added protection (or at least not full protection). Still better than unmasked.


Same here. We went with BOTN in large part because they sell a small that fits our 5 year old. She managed to wear it for hours at a time when we had to fly. We bought them from the BOTN store on Amazon. If they are fake, they are well made fakes. Which cannot be said for any N95 masks I’ve seen in the last two years that weren’t on the face of a doctor or nurse


I think the valved N95s were pretty much all legit since the demand was for non-valved masks, such as the ones doctors and nurses were wearing, when they could get them. I

I’ve still got some valved ones in rotation with the valves taped over - a practice validated by a CDC/NIOSH study that found taped over valved masks had less than 5% total outward penetration. (And that even with the valves left alone, they still were better at source control than cloth or surgical masks because the valve is so small much of the exhaust goes out through the filter media - it’s a smaller cross sectional area than the leaks at the sides of surgical masks.)


The KN95 aren’t certified by a body. It’s a standard that’s self certified is met by the manufacturer.

A valid KF94 should be certified by a government agency, just like the N95. Different governments.