Our GREENandSAVE Staff has been following the KN95 Mask supply and demand challenges. These is now a distinction between the medical use and civilian use KN95 Masks. Some seasoned importers of overseas product and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) are offering choices for volume buyers and distributors. One company PPE Source International, LLC has been proactive at investing resources to bring in KN96 Mask inventory and other PPE to multiple US warehouses. These type of reputable US companies are helping to reduce the complexity of the import market and provide the due diligence needed so that buyers can avoid getting mask that do not meet quality standards. Beyond the masks there are many other types of PPE In-Stock, now available in US warehouses.
How shoddy masks are getting to the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic
Last Updated May 11, 2020 7:05 PM EDT
Last month, first responders in Massachusetts discovered that some of the masks they were relying on — which supposedly filter out 95% of small airborne particles — were likely doing nothing of the sort.
MIT testing revealed that some masks distributed by the state were filtering less than 30%.
When asked if he thought some Massachusetts firefighters were infected because of substandard masks, union president Richard MacKinnon Jr. said, "I can't say that for sure, I can tell you that our firefighters have been infected. We made the advisory that these KN95 masks should only be used in a worst-case scenario."
N95 masks — technically, respirators – are needed to protect healthcare and emergency workers. They're strictly regulated by the US government, but there aren't enough of them. So last month, the FDA approved the use of the Chinese equivalent, KN95 masks, providing their manufacturers met certain criteria.
But the Centers for Disease Control has warned of counterfeit masks coming from China.
CBS News contacted several Chinese suppliers, posing as importers. Some said their respirators, labeled KN95, were not suitable for use in hospitals. "I don't suggest you use them," one supplier said.
Professor Joseph Allen said the US government should have ramped up American production much earlier.