4. Failures of imported N95-style masks
Although KN95 respirators imported from China have not been certified by NIOSH, they are marketed as meeting the requirements of a Chinese standard that aligns with NIOSH’s N95 mask requirements. However, ECRI testing through December 2020 found that, of the imported nonNIOSH-certified respirator alternatives tested, more than 60% failed to filter airborne particles as well as claimed.
The use of less-effective respirators, especially for aerosol-generating procedures such as ventilator intubations, may increase staff and patient exposure to infectious respiratory diseases. Organizations considering the use of nonNIOSH-certified respirators should verify that the models have been properly tested before they are put into use during the treatment of COVID-19 patients.