Counterfeit masks still widely sold, experts say

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Companies making and selling unreliable masks made nearly $30 million in sales in October, The New York Times reported Nov. 30.

Customers trying to purchase N95 masks on Amazon or other major retailers often find vendors selling KN95 masks, a Chinese-made mask often marketed as an N95 equivalent lacking approval from the CDC. 

Although the majority of "questionable" masks are produced in China, American companies have also been accused of exaggerating the level of protection provided by their masks, according to the report. 

The Times reported Amazon is the single-biggest source of masks bought by consumers. In a Nov. 29 statement, the company said all high-filtration masks must pass a rigorous review process.

Counterfeit masks have been a problem since the onset of the pandemic, and experts say it underscores the need for a more federal role in regulating products protecting people from COVID-19 and other airborne pathogens.

Experts say the counterfeit masks provide a false sense of security and may increase the likelihood of someone being exposed to the virus, which is a threat to public health, according to experts.


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