There have been reports of products using promotional materials that infer or cite NIOSH approval. Some of these products may look very similar to NIOSH-approved respirators. One example is a product that has taken N95 respirators and added decorative fabric for fashionable effects , therefore voiding the approval (http://www.flufashion.net). Another example is a surgical mask being advertised as a NIOSH-approved N95 respirator. NIOSH purchased the product, tested it and found it to have over 80% leakage. Several instances of packaging that falsely uses terms like “NIOSH approved”, and “NIOSH N95” have been brought to our attention. Though it is often difficult to be able to tell from first glance if a respirator is truly NIOSH certified, the most reliable marking to look for is the NIOSH TC# printed both on the box as well as the product itself (TC# xxx-xxxx). The product can be verified by checking the TC number on the NIOSH website .
Example of typical markings on filtering facepiece respirators.
When NIOSH becomes aware of counterfeit respirators or those misrepresenting NIOSH approval on the market, we will post them here to alert users, purchasers, and manufacturers.
April 28, 2017 - Counterfeit Respirators or Misrepresentation of NIOSH Approval
Figure 1 is an example of a counterfeit N95 Respirator that was brought to NIOSH’s attention. While the TC number and private label holder are valid, this unapproved unit can be identified by the misspelling of NIOSH on the front of the respirator.
Figures 2 and 3 are examples of counterfeit respirators. These respirators are being sold as if they are NIOSH-approved even though the manufacturer, Zubi-Ola, is not listed as a NIOSH approval holder or a private label holder.
Figure 4 is an example of misrepresentation of the NIOSH-approval. All approvals for Wein Products (WPI) were rescinded in 2011. However, the manufacturer’s website continues to state the ViraMask N99ESC is certified by NIOSH. View the user notice announcing the rescission .
Check the respirator approval markings (graphic below) or the Certified Equipment List to verify your respirator is NIOSH-approved. Additional information is available on the NIOSH Trusted Source page .
Figure 5 shows a NIOSH-approved filtering facepiece. Figure 6 shows the same type of filtering facepiece with a decorative design. Respirators featuring such designs are not NIOSH-approved.
Figures 5 and 6:
The earloop masks below have been advertised as N95 NIOSH-approved on eBay and elsewhere on the internet. NIOSH does not approve surgical masks, only respirators. The masks pictured below are not NIOSH-approved.
Figures 7 and 8:
The masks below are being sold as N95. NPPTL purchased and tested these masks and found them to have over 80% leakage. These masks are not NIOSH-approved.
Figures 9 and 10:
The box for this product indicates NIOSH approval. However, NIOSH does not approve surgical masks.
Rescinded Respirator Approvals
Periodically, respirator approvals are rescinded either at the request of the approval holder, or revoked by NIOSH for cause. Depending upon the reason for the rescission, a respirator User Notice may be issued. With all rescissions, the approval number is no longer listed in the Certified Equipment List (CEL), or on any of the NIOSH web pages that list approved respirators. View user notices issued prior to 2011 .