THE Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned that a ‘substantial’ number of face masks on the market claiming to be of KN95 standards provide an ‘inadequate’ level of protection.
The HSE said that masks that are not CE marked and cannot be shown to be compliant must be removed from supply immediately, adding that KN95 – sometimes known as filtering face piece respirators – ‘must not’ be used as PPE. It added that KN95 face masks are ‘likely to be poor quality products accompanied by fake or fraudulent paperwork’.
KN95 is a performance rating under a Chinese standard, which the HSE say has similar requirements of a European standard for face masks. However, it added that there is no independent certification or assurance of their quality and products manufactured to KN95 rating are declared as compliant by the manufacturer.
An extract from the statement by the HSE read, “Masks that are not CE marked and cannot be shown to be compliant must be removed from supply immediately. If these masks have not been through the necessary safety assessments, their effectiveness in controlling risks to health cannot be assured for anyone buying or using them. They are unlikely to provide the protection expected or required.”