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The FDA warns against some N95 masks because they might not be safe

A look at why the FDA doesn’t want you to use specific N95 masks

Ray Bellia holds up N95 personal protective masks.
Ray Bellia holds up N95 personal protective masks, used by medical and law enforcement professionals, in the warehouse of his Body Armor Outlet store, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Salem, N.H.
Charles Krupa, Associated Press

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned against using certain types of N95 respirators because of potential safety issues.

The FDA said it doesn’t want people using N95 masks developed by Shanghai Dasheng Health Products Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Shanghai Dasheng).

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has revoked the approval for the Shanghai Dasheng mask “because the company did not implement, maintain, and control a quality management system,” according to the FDA.
  • Visit the FDA’s website to see if your mask might need to be discarded.

The FDA said you can replace the Shanghai Dasheng respirators with any other approved N95 mask, including any of the ones on this list.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, N95 masks have been championed by health experts and officials. The masks went into short supply during the early stages of the pandemic because there was such high demand for them, according to The Hill.

Are N95 masks safe?

Recently, experts have said N95 masks are still vital to stopping the coronavirus, especially new variants like the delta variant.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the KN95 mask or an N95 mask offers the best protection against the delta variant.

  • “I think, though, if you’re going to consider wearing a mask, the quality of the mask does matter. So if you can get your hands on a KN95 mask or an N95 masks, that’s going to afford you a lot more protection.”
  • “So I would encourage people look at the quality of the mask and try and get their hands on a better quality of mask,” he said.