The FDA had apparently allowed thousands of Chinese mask manufacturers to sell KN95 masks in the U.S. that had not undergone quality control. KN95 masks are special medical grade masks that medical professionals, patients, and citizens alike can use for top protection against the coronavirus.
After inspecting the list of Chinese manufacturers that were used after the pandemic hit, the FDA found that “some of the manufacturers were not reliable and they had not actually gotten independent test verification,” according to Azar. “FDA quickly removed those products from the market.”
Overall, state government agencies purchased more than 180 million KN95 masks from China. Many of these ended up being of subpar quality and are no longer authorized.
What are KN95 masks?
KN95 masks are the regulatory standard for filtering facepiece respirators certified in China. They are similar to N95 masks in the U.S. They are said to provide 95 percent protection against bacteria, viruses, pollution particles, fine particles, dust, smog, and pollen.
These masks feature five layers of protection and a snug-fitting design. The WHO recommends KN95 masks for protection against COVID-19.
What to know about wearing masks
Remember when wearing a mask that it must cover both your mouth and nose. Avoid touching your mask, and only put it on and take it off using the ear loops.
When not using your mask, avoid leaving it on your chin, as that can raise the risk of infection.
In addition, do not wear a mask with a valve or vent (even if it is an N95 mask), as those do not protect others against coronavirus. The CDC says, “respirators with exhalation valves should not be used in situations where a sterile field must be maintained… because the exhalation valve allows unfiltered air to escape into the sterile field.”