Poor quality protective masks enter the U.S. coronavirus supply. In one Niosh test, more than half failed N-95 certified standards.

  • After the coronavirus pandemic triggered domestic shortages, officials have been forced to purchase supplies from unknown suppliers, often at higher than normal prices.
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or Niosh, has stepped up procedures to ensure masks are properly certified.
  • Niosh tested the filtration levels of 67 imported mask types. About 60% failed N-95 standards. Most of the failed masks used ear loops to secure the mask to the head. Niosh-certified masks use elastic straps to ensure a tighter fit.
  • MIT professor Gregory Rutlege conducted similar tests and found that 2/3 of the masks failed Niosh standards.
  • Some of the failed masks were distributed by vendors that had been certified by Niosh.