Tuesday, April 7, 2020

How to Spot Fraudulent N95 and KN95 Masks

Like many of you, we're looking for ways to keep our loved ones safe, especially those that are considered essential workers.  I almost purchased a lot of 500 - N95 masks to distribute among my family who many are in healthcare only to find out they were fraudulent!  Here's what we've done to verify authenticity, hope you can all do the same.

First read this post from the CDC on how to spot fakes.  These counterfit manufacturers are clever: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/usernotices/counterfeitResp.html
To summarize, if you see any that claim to be NIOSH certified please check this website.

In order to do your own investigation, here's what I suggest.  Gather as much information as you can first.  Email them for more specifics.  Things to request: Documentation that verifies any claims such as:  NIOSH Certification letter or FDA Approval number.  Additional photos of the product and packaging are also useful.
  1. Check out the list of approved masks here.  There is a list by alphabet of N95 manufacturers: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/default.html
  2. Here is a list of approved masks in emergency situations.  The KN95 mask manufacturers are listed here.  https://www.fda.gov/media/136663/download
  3. If they give you an FDA Registration number, you can check it out here.  NOTE: Just because they have a number from the FDA does NOT mean that all their products are legitimate.  It simply means they have "Registered" and can now be subject to inspections of their manufacturing facility.  RED FLAG: If they show some official looking "Certificate" from the FDA, I confirmed with the FDA that they do not issue any "Certificates", just a Registration number. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfrl/rl.cfm
  4. IF YOU DO ANYTHING AT ALL, DO THIS - Contact the CERTIFICATE HOLDER - THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP.  These certificates that are awarded to a Company often names the individual in the certificate.  Go to their corporate website and email them or fill in their contact form.  You want to gather as much as you can and submit it to them for verification of authenticity.  Things to gather: Images of the mask, the box, Certificates and the reseller contact information or website selling the product.  You'll be surprized how fast these companies respond to your inquiry.
All of us at Sanzo's want you to be safe during these times and avoid from any potential scams.  If anyone has found a source that is not authentic, please contact us, list it or post it where-ever possible.  Let's keep each other safe!

As far as personal protection - we've looked at many varieties and we're a fan of this mask made in the USA:
4 Layer Cotton Mask
What we like is the construction is 100% cotton and it is three layer.  These masks make no medical claims, however, more layers offers better filtration.  Also for personal use when getting your essentials or working within essential businesses, these can be washed at the end of the day and reused.  

Hope everyone stays safe and if you have any suggestions, please email customers@sanzo.us and we'll try to address any concerns!