According to 3M, “more than 10 million” counterfeit N95 respirator masks have been seized since the pandemic began.” The Biden regime’s latest foul up proves that they can’t even spot the dead giveaways, like a box just off a ship from Shenzhen, China, marked “3M” and “Made in the USA.” Investigators scratch their heads and shrug, “it’s like a needle in a stack of needles.” The major flub is that they made their way into use by frontline workers.
Knockoff masks mystify experts
They may be knockoffs but they work just as good as the real thing, almost. Investigators are going bananas trying to stop the flood of of counterfeit 3M respirators. People are getting into shoving matches over N95 masks, “prized for their ability to filter out 95 percent” of the Covid carrying crud.
The thing that drives experts nuts are the lab tests that show the imposters filter out the same level of particles as genuine 3M models. They perform a lot better than the officially sanctioned Chinese import KN95s. There is one drawback to the counterfeits and it could be crucial.
The supply managers for major hospitals didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday so they know better than just buy medical supplies from shady places.
When the Washington State Hospital Association was looking for 300,000 of the masks in December, “it sent samples to hospital leaders, who said they appeared legitimate.” They really did.
“It’s not like we just ordered them sight unseen,” insists Beth Zborowski, spokesunit for the association.
“We had two major medical centers in Seattle look at the quality, straps, cut them open and decide ‘this looks like it’s the real deal’ before they bought them.” On their recommendation, “major hospital systems in the state” bought more of the knockoff masks on their own, “adding up to 1.9 million.”
Almost, but not quite, the same
The problem first surfaced when some Nurses at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, New Jersey started suspecting that “the misshapen and odd-smelling ‘3M’ masks they were given are knockoffs.” The plot thickened when they discovered “mask lot numbers match those the company listed online as possible fakes.”
As they say, “if it quacks like a duck…” Union vice president Daniel Hayes asserts “People have been terrified. They felt like they were taking their lives in their hands, and they don’t have anything else to wear.”
They sent some samples off to the lab for testing. The report wasn’t as bad as expected. nonprofit ECRI agreed to test the gear and found “they filtered out 95 percent or more of the 0.3-micron particles they’re expected to catch.” Wow. Engineering director Chris Lavanchy was impressed.
“We’re kind of scratching our heads trying to understand this situation, because it’s not as black and white as I would have expected. I’ve looked at other masks we knew were counterfeit, and they usually perform terribly.” In comparison, Chinese made KN95s “approved by U.S. regulators on an emergency basis” failed their tests, and some filtered out only 30 percent of the tiny particles.
When Lavanchy and his team looked closer they found that the counterfeit masks also tested as having “higher breathing resistance than expected.” That’s worse than it sounds.
“Such resistance can fatigue the person wearing the mask or cause the mask to lift off the face, letting in unfiltered air.” The manufacturer was quick to agree. “Without a proper seal and fit, respirators are not filtering [properly] — gaps could allow air to enter.”