A real 3M respirator – the mask in which many Canadian health care workers are using to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 spread in health care settings. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A real 3M respirator – the mask in which many Canadian health care workers are using to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 spread in health care settings. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Health Canada issues advisory over fake N95 masks flooding the market

Since mid-February, authorities have recovered nearly 330,000 fakes from Canadian distributors

Health Canada is warning the public about risks associated with counterfeit N95 respirators being sold across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since mid-February, authorities have recovered nearly 330,000 of the fake masks from Canadian distributors, having detained an additional 365,000 at the U.S. border.

The fake respirators “lack any assurance of safety, quality and efficacy,” the health agency said in a March 19 advisory.

“Respirators are essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. They help protect health care providers and slow the spread of the disease.”

The illegally-made products resemble legitimate N95 masks by using the brand of established medical manufacturer, 3M.

READ MORE: 3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

READ MORE: B.C. bans ‘shameful black market’ of food, medical supplies; limits buying quantities

Products with missing straps, strange odours, or blocked valves are likely not authentic 3M respirators, the advisory said.

“It is illegal to sell or advertise counterfeit health products. The Department takes this issue seriously and will use all available tools to stop these activities.”

Health Canada has detected three fake respirator versions circulating the country – including ones made to appear as Health Care Particulate Respirator and Surgical Mask 1860 and the 1860S models.

Counterfeit versions of 3M’s Aura Health Care Particulate Respirator and Surgical Mask 1870+ have also been seized by border officials.

The public health agency said it’s working with the company to identify the source of the fakes and determine where they may have been distributed or sold within Canada

RELATED: 2 people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Visit 3M’s website or call its anti-fraud hotline (1-800-426-8688) for help identifying and reporting suspected counterfeit N95s.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Greenwood streets due for spring cleaning

City crews to start on residential streets Friday, April 16

Barbed wire hangs over a chain-link fence at Grand Forks public works yard at 130 Industrial Dr. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks to increase security following theft, break-ins at city properties

Grand Forks RCMP said break-ins at abandoned homes accounted for majority of recent property crime

The Rock Creek Fall Fair is coming back next September. It's size and scope depends on pandemic constraints, said general manager Lisa Sims. Photo: Facebook — Rock Creek Fall Fair
Rock Creek Fall Fair planners hoping for as big a return as possible

The fair launched 50-50 ticket sales Thursday, April 15

Easterly winds vent smoke from a controlled behind rural Grand Forks’ Spencer Hill Wednesday, April 14. Photo: Darlainea Redlack
Grand Forks’ wildfire operations centre reports successful controlled burn near city

Lead officer James Kastonoff said some smoke will stay in the area through Thursday, April 15

Mayor and council on Monday, April 12, narrowly voted to keep the old Hardy View Lodge shelter open for potentially another year. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks to keep shelter open during housing negotiations with province

The current facility at 2320 78th Ave. will stay open as a COVID-shelter, according to city council’s resolution

Thursday, Feb. 4: RDKB Chief Engineer Darryl Funk hoists a banner commemorating last year’s championship season by the Bantam House Bruins. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Bantam Bruins honoured at hair-raising banner ceremony at Grand Forks’ Jack Goddard Arena

Asst. coach Mike Tollis said he reluctantly gave in to the team’s victory wish that he cut his pony tale

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

Most Read