A 3M mask is shown in Mississauga, Ont., on Friday, April 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Health Canada issues warning for fake N95s, even as public urged not to buy medical masks

Fraudulent N95 masks don’t create a proper seal, aren’t effective

Health Canada is warning people to be careful with N95 respirators after receiving reports of fake masks being sold online.

“Health Canada has received reports that fraudulent and uncertified N95 respirators that falsely claim to protect consumers against COVID-19 are being illegally sold to consumers online and in some stores,” the agency said in a Tuesday (April 14) alert.

Real N95 masks are regulated by Health Canada as Class I medical devices and come from companies with a Medical Device Establishment Licence and are certified by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (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,” the agency said.

The warning comes even as Canadians are being told to not buy N95 masks but to leave them for healthcare workers. Earlier in April, Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s chief medical officer, began calling non-medical masks a helpful “additional measure” for asymptomatic Canadians to not pass along COVID-19 to anyone else.

READ MORE: Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

READ MORE: Myth of medical masks drives profiteering in B.C. COVID-19 battle

READ MORE: Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Neighbours help Sidney woman mark 103rd birthday with surprise parade

Barbara Chorlton celebrates her ‘best birthday so far’

Racism is here too, say Victoria’s black community leaders

White Victorians have role to play in combatting systems of oppression, prejudice

Shortage of foreign workers costs Saanich Peninsula berry farmer thousands

Gobind Farms says hiring local has been difficult during pandemic

Pedestrian, cycling overpass now open at McKenzie Interchange

Bridge connects Portage Road, Galloping Goose Regional Trail

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Most Read