USE OF NIOSH- APPROVED RESPIRATORS

There have been reports of products using promotional materials that infer or cite NIOSH approval. Some of these products may look very similar to NIOSH-approved respirators. One example is a product that has taken N95 respirators and added decorative fabric for fashionable effects , therefore voiding the approval (http://www.flufashion.net). Another example is a surgical mask being advertised as a NIOSH-approved N95 respirator. NIOSH purchased the product, tested it and found it to have over 80% leakage. Several instances of packaging that falsely uses terms like “NIOSH approved”, and “NIOSH N95” have been brought to our attention. Though it is often difficult to be able to tell from first glance if a respirator is truly NIOSH certified, the most reliable marking to look for is the NIOSH TC# printed both on the box as well as the product itself (TC# xxx-xxxx). The product can be verified by checking the TC number on the NIOSH website .

Example of typical markings on filtering facepiece respirators.

 Examples of Ixterior and Interior markings on a Filtering Facepiece Mask, 1. Examples of Exterior Markings: a. Manufacturer Business Name or Private Label - Approval Holder Business Name, a Registered Trademark or an easily understood abbreviation. If private labeled, the private label or logo is here instead of the approval holder business name, b. NIOSH - NIOSH name in block letters or NIOSH Logo, c. TC-84A-XXXX - TC - Approval Number, d. Filter Designation (Alphanumeric Rating) - NIOSH Filter series followed by filter efficiency levels (P100), e. Model # XXXX - Model Number, f. Lot # XXXX - Lot Number (Recommended), 2. Example of Interior Markings: Generic Orientation marking (recommended) Location is per manufacturer.

Counterfeit Respirators

When NIOSH becomes aware of counterfeit respirators or those misrepresenting NIOSH approval on the market, we will post them here to alert users, purchasers, and manufacturers.

April 28, 2017 - Counterfeit Respirators or Misrepresentation of NIOSH Approval

 an example of a counterfeit N95 Respirator

Figure 1 is an example of a counterfeit N95 Respirator that was brought to NIOSH’s attention. While the TC number and private label holder are valid, this unapproved unit can be identified by the misspelling of NIOSH on the front of the respirator.

 Not NIOSH approved - Zubi-Ola respirator, without value   Not NIOSH approved - Zubi-Ola respirator, with value

Figures 2 and 3 are examples of counterfeit respirators. These respirators are being sold as if they are NIOSH-approved even though the manufacturer, Zubi-Ola, is not listed as a NIOSH approval holder or a private label holder.

 example of misrepresentation of the NIOSH-approval - ViraMask N99ESC

Figure 4 is an example of misrepresentation of the NIOSH-approval. All approvals for Wein Products (WPI) were rescinded in 2011. However, the manufacturer’s website continues to state the ViraMask N99ESC is certified by NIOSH. View the user notice announcing the rescission .

Check the respirator approval markings (graphic below) or the Certified Equipment List to verify your respirator is NIOSH-approved. Additional information is available on the NIOSH Trusted Source page .


Figure 5 shows a NIOSH-approved filtering facepiece. Figure 6 shows the same type of filtering facepiece with a decorative design. Respirators featuring such designs are not NIOSH-approved.

Figures 5 and 6:

 NIOSH approved filtering facepiece   Filtering facepiece with decorative fabric, not NIOSH-approved


The earloop masks below have been advertised as N95 NIOSH-approved on eBay and elsewhere on the internet. NIOSH does not approve surgical masks, only respirators. The masks pictured below are not NIOSH-approved. 

Figures 7 and 8:

 Earloop mask, not NIOSH-approved   4 earloop masks, not NIOSH-approved


The masks below are being sold as N95. NPPTL purchased and tested these masks and found them to have over 80% leakage. These masks are not NIOSH-approved. 

Figures 9 and 10:

 Filtering facepiece, not NIOSH-approved   Filtering facepiece, not NIOSH-approved


The box for this product indicates NIOSH approval. However, NIOSH does not approve surgical masks.

 Face mask box

Rescinded Respirator Approvals

Periodically, respirator approvals are rescinded either at the request of the approval holder, or revoked by NIOSH for cause. Depending upon the reason for the rescission, a respirator User Notice may be issued. With all rescissions, the approval number is no longer listed in the Certified Equipment List (CEL), or on any of the NIOSH web pages that list approved respirators. View user notices issued prior to 2011 .