The Dangers of Fake Medical or Surgical Masks

The new variants of coronavirus are becoming more contagious; it is vital that we wear authentic protective masks to prevent transmission of the virus.
02 August 2021
The new variants of coronavirus have been more contagious. To protect ourselves, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided guidelines on wearing double masks. According to the official CDC website, wearing double masks is more effective in filtering 92.5% of potentially infectious particles.

Some things you should know about masks:

1. Masks are protective covers that can reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.
2. Various types, models, and brands of medical masks are sold in the market at different prices.
3. Masks have now become a fashion.

However, did you know that there was a recent finding of fake masks? A fake medical/surgical mask has not been registered, nor does it have a distribution permit as a medical consumable, so there is no guarantee of its effectiveness in filtering bacteria or viruses as claimed.

In comparison, authentic medical/surgical masks have passed the various necessary tests, such as:

1. Bacterial Filtering Efficiency (BFE): Medical masks must have a bacterial filtering efficiency of at least 95%.
2. Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE): Medical masks must have good particle filtration.
3. Respiratory Resistance (RR): Medical masks must have good respiratory resistance.

So, how do you check the authenticity of the mask? Follow these 5 steps to avoid the dangers of fake masks.

1. Check the Distribution Permit.
The distribution permit of the mask is indicated on the packaging.

2. Visual Test.
Check the number of layers of the mask. You can cut open the mask to count the layers. The mask should have 3 layers or more as stated on the packaging.

3. Blow Test
Put on a mask, then try blowing out the flame of a candle or match. Your breath will not pass through a good mask to blow out the flame.

4. Burn Test
Burn the mask. An authentic mask contains polypropylene plastic, so it will melt when burned.

5. Water Test
Pour water on the mask. If the mask is authentic, its outer layer is water-resistant, so water would not seep through.

To reduce the transmission of COVID-19, it is our responsibility to use authentic masks.

Stay safe and stay healthy!

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