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Counterfeit, Sub-Standard and Non-Equivalent N95 Respirators

May 21, 2020
by Canadian Dental Association


Counterfeit, sub-standard and non-equivalent N95-like respirators are flooding the marketplace as the demand for N95 respirators continues to rise. These products have not been certified and will not deliver the same respiratory protection as N95 respirators which are certified by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

N95 Compliance, Fit, Varieties and Markings

  • Compliance: NIOSH-certified N95 respirators are compliant with specifications which ensure that when used properly, they will filter at least 95% very small test particles, such as airborne pathogens.
  • Fit: NIOSH-certified N95 respirators have a strong head band design (not ear loops) that applies the needed pressure achieve a proper fit and seal on the face.
  • Varieties: N95 respirators come in two varieties, including a commercial grade that is not tested for fluid resistance and a surgical grade that is tested for fluid resistance.
  • Markings: NIOSH-certified N95 respirators have an approval label on or within the packaging of the respirator (on the box itself), as well as markings on each of the individual respirators.

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