- 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.