Trust & Verify: How to spot fake N95, KN95 masks and how to find an approved one

Published: January 14, 2022 4:14 PM EST
Updated: January 14, 2022 4:16 PM EST
This December 2020 image provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shows counterfeit N95 surgical masks that were seized by ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Federal investigators are probing a massive counterfeit N95 mask operation sold in at least five states to hospitals, medical facilities, and government agencies and expect the number to rise significantly in coming weeks. The fake 3M masks are at best a copyright violations and at worst unsafe fakes that put unknowing health care workers at grave risk for coronavirus. And they are becoming increasingly difficult to spot. (ICE via AP)

Face masks brought in $34 million in profit in 2021 to the businesses that make them.

Demand is just as high right now during the surge of the omicron variant of COVID-19. 
But buyer beware because you may not be getting what you think.

Right now, N95 and KN95 masks are in high demand.
 They are marketed as keeping out 95 percent of airborne particles.

Some school districts in California and Oregon are requiring this specific type for students and teachers, so they are flying off the shelves.

Experts say many of these third-party masks are manufactured outside the united states, making it difficult to regulate them.

KN95s made in China are particularly worrisome. The fakes are not dangerous per see, they just don’t offer the same amount of protection they say they do and that you’re expecting.

So how do you know whether you are wasting your money? 
 The CDC has a list on their website of the legitimate N95 and KN95 masks listed by manufacturer. Just click HERE and check them out before you buy online.

For a list of counterfeit masks and to see how to recognize one, click HERE.