If you find out that your mask is fraudulent or uncertified, stop using it and report the information, Health Canada suggests
Health Canada has warned that fraudulent and uncertified N95 respirators that are not certified by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) may not protect its users against the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The warning came after Health Canada received reports that these respirators are being illegally sold online and in some stores.
Health Canada regulates N95 respirators in the country as Class I medical devices that are manufactured or imported by companies that hold a Medical Device Establishment Licence. These respirators are also certified by NIOSH.
“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,” said Health Canada.
To avoid using these masks, Health Canada suggests that you learn about the proper use of face masks, and 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.
You must also review the product package and respirator to ensure it has the appropriate markings and details required by NIOSH, including the TC (Testing and Certification) approval number (a number set by NIOSH), the name of the manufacturer, the NIOSH name or logo, the model number, and filter efficiency (N95). You must also look at product markings, such as the name of the manufacturer, to determine whether there are any obvious signs that the product is counterfeit, like incorrect spelling.
If you find out that your mask is fraudulent or uncertified, stop using it and report the information here.
“It is illegal to sell or advertise health products that make false or misleading claims. The department takes this issue seriously and will use all available tools to stop these activities,” said Health Canada.
The department monitors websites and takes action when false claims and/or unauthorized products are identified. Health Canada is also working with online retailers to ensure that these products are removed from their websites, and with different government departments and agencies to address this issue.