Health & Wellness

Beware of Fake N95 Masks

Health Canada is warning that fraudulent N95 masks are being sold in Canada


Health Canada has issued a warning indicating that fake and illegal N95 masks are being sold online and in some stores and that they may not protect buyers from COVID-19.

True N95 masks will be marked with the logo of the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and with a code that can be entered online to ensure the product is legitimate.

“Fraudulent or unauthorized N95 masks may not meet the same performance measures required by the NIOSH N95 standard and, as a result, may not properly protect consumers from COVID-19,” Health Canada said in its alert.

“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 Health Canada alert said. “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 illegal masks are being sold by companies without valid Medical Device Establishment Licences, which are required of any company that wants to manufacture or import a regulated medical device. Online retailers may be also unaware that such products are circulating and being sold through their sites, the alert said.

“The Department takes this issue seriously and will use all available tools to stop these activities,” the alert warned.

Health Canada says it’s working in collaboration with the Canada Border Services Agency, the Competition Bureau, and the Public Health Agency of Canada to crack down on “false and misleading claims related to COVID-19.”

Anyone who has bought a fraudulent mask is invited to report it by filing a complaint via Health Canada’s website.

Photo: iStock/Liliboas.