Check if your N95 mask is authorized, says Health Canada

Avleen K Mokha

Mask, Coronavirus, Quarantine, Virus, Epidemic, Disease
Photo: Engin Akyurt / Pixabay

Health Canada has issued a warning to Canadians about the risk of using fraudulent N95 respirators, as they may not protect the users from getting coronavirus (COVID-19).

Health Canada has received reports that fraudulent and uncertified N95 respirators that are being illegally sold to consumers online and in some stores to pander to the public’s fear of infecting COVID-19.

In Canada, N95 respirators are regulated by Health Canada as Class I medical devices and are manufactured or imported by companies that hold a Medical Device Establishment Licence.

They are also certified by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).  

Fraudulent or unauthorized N95 masks may not meet the same performance measures required by the NIOSH N95 standard and, as a result, may not properly protect consumers from COVID-19.

What a N95 respirator does

When worn properly, NIOSH‑certified N95 respirators are designed to secure a close facial fit and reduce the risk of inhaling hazardous airborne particles and aerosols. The “N95” designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95% of very small test particles, such as pathogens.

What Health Canada is doing

Health Canada monitors websites and takes action when false claims and/or unauthorized products are identified, and is working with online retailers to ensure that these products are removed from their websites.

What you should do

·         Learn about the proper use of face masks.

·         Confirm that your product has been certified by NIOSH by entering the approval number, which can be found on the respirator, in the NIOSH database.

·         If your mask is fraudulent or uncertified, stop using it.

·         Report information on the potential false or misleading advertising or sale of unauthorized products to Health Canada.