Low-Quality Foreign Made Masks in US Supply

Low-Quality Foreign Made Masks in US Supply

Issue 17

05.05.20 - U.S. regulators and state officials are finding that a significant number of imported N95-style masks are falling short of certification standards, complicating the response to the coronavirus crisis and potentially putting some front-line workers at greater risk.

Recent tests conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that about 60% of 67 different types of imported masks tested allowed in more tiny particles in at least one sample than U.S. standards normally permit.

One mask that Niosh tested, sold in packaging bearing unauthorized Food and Drug Administration logos, filtered out as little as 35% of particles. Another, marked KN95, a Chinese standard similar to N95, had one sample test below 15%, far short of the 95% it advertised, Niosh said. KN95 and N95 both refer to standards that call for masks to block 95% of very small particles.

The Niosh tests, combined with recalls and additional testing from multiple states, show that millions of substandard masks have been imported from China and other countries as the need for protective gear for workers confronting the pandemic has skyrocketed. Read More

Source: Wall Street Journal