China-Made KN95 Masks are Significantly Inferior, Endangering Medical Workers; 70% Don't Meet US Health Standards, Claims Study

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A new study claims that up to 70% of KN95 face masks, imported from China, don't meet the United States health standards. It explained that these masks could endanger the lives of patients and even health care workers. 

KN95 From China Doesn't Live Up to Packaging Claims; Study Says These Masks Endanger Medical Workers and Patients

(Photo : Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 29: KN95 masks for sale at a face mask vending machine during the coronavirus pandemic on May 29, 2020 in New York City. Government guidelines encourage wearing a mask in public with strong social distancing in effect as all 50 states in the USA have begun a gradual process to slowly reopen after weeks of stay-at-home measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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KN95 should be capable of filtering out 95% of viral particles in the air people breathe, as the name suggests. This face mask is the Chinese version of the N95 model, the face-covering officially certified by the U.S. authorities. 

However, the recent testing conducted by an independent medical product evaluation found that among almost 200 KN95 masks imported from China, 60% to 70% don't live up to the packaging claims, making them significantly inferior. 

The study analyzed masks from 15 Chinese manufacturers that supply major U.S. health systems and hospitals. Pennsylvania-based ECRI Institute, a patient safety advocacy group, released the results on Sept. 22.

After what they found out, the ECRI was forced to issue a hazard alert. Marcus Schabacker, ECRI's President, and CEO said that this kind of alert is commonly used for serious situations that health care professionals need to know about immediately.

The CEO said that they started testing the KN95 masks in April, at the request of medical facilities that have begun sourcing from the Chinese suppliers.  

Chinese manufacturers suddenly appear during the pandemic 

Thousands of Chinese manufacturing startups emerged to serves as sources of medical supplies since there's a dire shortage during the ongoing pandemic. The institute said that KN95 masks have been among the most prevalent medical products imported to the U.S. 

KN95 From China Doesn't Live Up to Packaging Claims; Study Says These Masks Endanger Medical Workers and Patients

(Photo : Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TEXAS - AUGUST 07: KN95 masks sit stored at the Austin Convention Center on August 07, 2020 in Austin, Texas. The convention center was prepared for use as a field hospital for Covid-19 patients, if Austin hospitals were to become overwhelmed. In recent weeks Texas has seen the number of new Covid-19 hospitalizations decrease, even as pandemic-related deaths remain high.

Right now, there are almost 35,000 mask suppliers in China, as stated by Schabacker. 

"We're finding that many aren't safe and effective against the spread of COVID-19," he said. 

"Health care providers need to "do more due diligence before purchasing masks that aren't made or certified in America," he added. 

ECRI discovered another defect of the Chinese product. The advocacy group found that the face masks have ear loop straps instead of the head or neckband design to secure the cover even more against the user's face. 

The headband design is also required by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the United States federal agency that supervises workplace safety.

 

Also Read: [UPDATE] COVID Whistleblower Li-Meng Yan: Chinese President, WHO Knew 'Man-Made Virus' Cover-up Story

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Written by: Giuliano de Leon.

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