Consumers warned vs ‘counterfeit, low-quality’ N95 masks | Inquirer News
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Consumers warned vs ‘counterfeit, low-quality’ N95 masks

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 01:11 PM January 15, 2020
DTI Usec. Ruth Castelo

DTI Usec. Ruth Castelo compares a genuine N95 face mask (left) to a fake one during a surprise inspection at stores selling medical supplies in Manila on Tuesday, January 14, 2019. (Photo by Cathrine Gonzales/INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Health (DOH) are warning consumers against buying low-quality  N95 masks which may not give protection from ashfall.

“We found very low quality N95 masks I’m sure medical doctors will not even use. Kita mo naman kasi doon sa material na ginamit, yung look niya, probably hindi naman siya fake, copy ng N95 pero very very low quality. Baka hindi rin makasave ng tao from the ashfall,” DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said in a press briefing.

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(We found very low quality N95 masks I’m sure medical doctors will not even use. You will observe from the material used, it’s not probably fake, but a copy of the N95 mask which is very very low quality. It may not protect a person from the ashfall.)

The DOH advised consumers to carefully check if the products they are buying are similar to some standards after DTI found “fake” N95 masks being sold in medical stores in Manila.

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“From the look, it says ‘N95,’ merong nakatatak dapat. N95 masks are rigid, they are quite thick, a few millimeters thick and they are molded talaga for the contour of the face,” DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo said in the same briefing.

“Ang N95 kasi ang purpose niya, less than 1 percent yung particles na makakapasok other than the air. So talagang nakaseal siya pag sinuot mo sya sa buong ilong mo at sa bibig,” he added.

(Apart from air, the N95 mask only allows less than 1 percent of the particles to enter. So it’s really sealed if you wear it to cover your nose and mouth.)

“[Kung] masyadong malambot or manipis at hindi talaga maganda yung contour sa mukha, then that’s probably a falsified product or a counterfeit,” he further explained.

(If it’s soft or thin and its contour to the face is not fit, then it’s probably a falsified product or a counterfeit.)

Health experts have advised the public to wear N95 masks as protection against volcanic ashfall after Taal Volcano spewed ash, steam, and small rocks last Sunday.

N95 is a rating of protective masks by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This means that the mask protects against 95 percent of airborne particles but not resistant to oil fumes.

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Domingo said the DOH has already sent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspectors to medical supply stores to check if its N95 masks pass the standards.

“We’re now dispatching FDA inspectors dito sa mga medical supply stores to check. because N95 masks, if they claim to be N95, they have to be registered with the FDA and they should pass the standard set for that particular product,” he said.

(We’re now dispatching FDA inspectors to medical supply stores to check. If they claim to have N95 masks, they have to be registered with the FDA and they should pass the standard set for that particular product.)

Edited by MUF
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TAGS: Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry, DoH, DTI, N95 masks, Taal eruption
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