The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning about counterfeit respirators that may not be capable of providing adequate protection against COVID-19 are once again being marketed.
These respirators are falsely marketed and sold as being approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for COVID-19 and may not provide appropriate respiratory protection to workers.
NIOSH-approved respirators have an approval label on or within the packaging, and an abbreviated approval is on the respirator itself, according to the CDC news release, which was updated with this information Aug. 25.
Respirators approved by NIOSH will always have one of the following designations:
A respirator may be counterfeit if it:
- has no markings at all on the filtering facepiece respirator
- has no approval (TC) number on the respirator or headband
- has no NIOSH markings
- has NIOSH spelled incorrectly
- has the presence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons such as sequins
- claims approval for children as NIOSH does not approve any type of respiratory protection for children, or
- the respirator has ear loops instead of headbands.
The CDC news release also has a variety of photos showing a wide assortment of examples of counterfeit masks.