The rapidly spreading variants of Coronavirus have prompted many people to upgrade their cloth masks and surgical masks to higher quality NIOSH approved N95 masks made in USA. But that’s still not what the whole nation has done. With a dizzying array of masks available in a variety of sizes, colors, and shapes, people often get confused about picking the right ones out of so many counterfeit options. However, it is not a daunting task only if you know how to spot the main features required to shield yourself from the existing and emerging COVID-19 variants. Even though a lot of people do research, they might still end up buying a mask that’s either not authentic or doesn’t fit right. Here are some of the key points to keep in mind while you’re on a mask shopping spree.
Check The Labels First
The most important thing to look for in an N95 mask is if it has been certified by NIOSH and the easiest way to check that is its label. Authentic sellers ensure that the masks they put up for sale are from reputable mask manufacturers. Choosing masks that are tested and certified by NIOSH offers the level of optimal protection, unlike counterfeit ones. So, you need to look closely at the packaging of the product to make sure it includes the required labeling. Legitimate N95 masks have some text stamped on the front side which includes NIOSH, company name, model, lot number, and TC approval number. Moreover, you can also look up the mask on the CDC official website using the TC approval number to spot the counterfeits.
Choose The Right Mask Style
With so many shapes and sizes available, N95 masks fit differently against everyone’s face even if the description says “one size fits most” and you won’t get the required benefits of a respirator until and unless it forms a seal. So, you need to find what type of masks suit you best. The cup-style, duck bill, and flat-fold masks are all designed differently which means no one mask will fit the same on two different people. One way to assure that you’re buying the right mask is to try a couple of different types of masks to see what works best while the other way is to go for the ones having the best reviews. Whatever way you choose, it will still somehow be a gamble until you try the mask yourself.
Check Features of Your Mask
Most N95 respirators have head straps, unlike KN95 masks that have ear loops. Even though both types of masks have their significance in terms of size and comfort, most people in the U.S prefer buying N95 masks made in U.S.A because of several counterfeit issues. According to a study, around 60 percent of KN95 masks sold in the United States are counterfeit. So, it’s better to look for N95 masks that are more reliable. However, mask makers in China and Korea have created KN95 and KF94 masks that are considered safe for children. The child-friendly colors and prints make them even more likely to be prioritized for kids rather than N95 masks that are not so recommended for them.
The filtering efficiency of the mask is something you cannot overlook at any cost. The high-tech filtering material used for making up the layers of an N95 mask traps even the hardest-to-trap particles that are very likely to bounce around. The N95 respirators are designed with an electrostatically charged filter that attracts and trap particles easily unlike those low-grade cloth masks that allow the risky particles to escape through the loose fibers. Offering optimal features for high-level protection against all the new variants of coronavirus, N95 masks have been in demand ever since the first variant emerged. Now that more people are concerned about the quality of masks they are buying, it is even more important to understand what a legitimate mask looks like and if it is included in the CDC’s list of NIOSH-approved respirators.
Find A Reputable Supplier
While the differences might not always be obvious, it is best to choose the safe route for buying authentic NIOSH approved N95 masks made in USA. Find a retailer that works directly with manufacturers approved by the NIOSH or their distributors to ensure that you’re getting the right thing. It can still be a lot trickier than you think even if you buy from Amazon as the legitimate masks are mixed in with counterfeits. It is a good idea to check the manufacturers’ websites to see where they sell their products and who the distributors are. Like 3M has a dedicated spot for identifying fake masks so the consumers can be confident when buying masks from them. You can also choose many other resources that have sprung up to help people navigate the buying process. Medical Supply All is a very easy and convenient online platform offering the best quality masks from different brands. So, you don’t have to switch web pages unnecessarily to look for the masks that suit you best.