Be Careful Buying Masks Online
This Blog has been used by permission from the great folks at HARMAR WHEELCHAIR LIFTS
It comes as no surprise that there are scammers out there taking advantage of people during this crisis. Substandard products, misleading descriptions, and outright fraud are the order of the day. Even websites like Amazon are finding it difficult to keep up with the bad actors. We also need to decide what type of masks to buy.
Some tips to consider when making your decision:
Many websites and news outlets are telling the public not to buy medical masks as these are for the first responders. Considering we are in the medical products business, we interact with customers with compromised immune systems, and and that surgical masks are increasingly available to the general public, we consider wearing surgical masks to be appropriate.
Get educated about what you are buying. If you are looking for surgical masks check for FDA approvals and lab test results. ASTM Standard F2100-11 rates surgical masks on 3 levels of fluid protection. If you are considering filtering respirator masks, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)'s classifies filtering respirators such as N95. These masks require training and are generally reserved for medical professionals.
The Mayo Clinic has done a good job recapping the advantages and disadvantages of different types of masks.
When buying online, please check reviews carefully. Are they recent? Are there misspellings and poor English? Many reviews are fabricated.
Look at the vendor's history. Are they new? Prior to the Pandemic, there were roughly 100 mask manufacturers in China, and now there are over 4,000.
No matter which type of mask you choose, understand what you are buying, how it will be used and consider the reputation of the source.
Below are some places to buy masks now. We have not vetted these, so do your homework: