Counterfeit Respirators / Misrepresentation of NIOSH-Approval

Notice on NIOSH ownership of respirator certification marks

NIOSH has successfully recorded the NIOSH stylized logo with and without text, as well as the certification marks N95, N99, N100, P95, P100, and the term “NIOSH-approved”, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). NIOSH, as the certifying federal entity for the N95 Respirator Approval Program, owns these certification marks, meaning that NIOSH controls who can use these marks. Accordingly, NIOSH will let manufacturers use these certification marks only if they become NIOSH-approval holders because of their products satisfying the NIOSH’s regulatory standards set forth in 42 C.F.R. Part 84. While these marks have historically been protected under common law (as opposed to a trademark registration) since they were established by the program regulations, these marks are now registered with the USPTO as federal registrations, as well as in various foreign countries, and are subject to additional protections under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1051 et seq. and foreign trademark laws. Thus, any misuse of these marks, including on respirators that have failed to satisfy NIOSH’s regulatory requirements or have not received a NIOSH approval, is a direct violation of applicable trademark laws and NIOSH may pursue action as necessary. This also applies to approval holders that misuse or misplace the marks or terms against the regulations, specifically outlined in 42 C.F.R. § 84.33.

Counterfeit respirators are products that are falsely marketed and sold as being NIOSH-approved and may not be capable of providing appropriate respiratory protection to workers. 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.

How to identify a NIOSH-approved respirator:

NIOSH-approved respirators have an approval label on or within the packaging of the respirator (i.e. on the box itself and/or within the users’ instructions). Additionally, an abbreviated approval is on the FFR itself. You can verify the approval number on the NIOSH Certified Equipment List (CEL) or the NIOSH Trusted-Source page to determine if the respirator has been approved by NIOSH. NIOSH-approved FFRs will always have one of the following designations: N95, N99, N100, R95, R99, R100, P95, P99, P100.

Signs that a respirator may be counterfeit:

  • No markings at all on the filtering facepiece respirator
  • No approval (TC) number on filtering facepiece respirator or headband
  • No NIOSH markings
  • NIOSH spelled incorrectly
  • Presence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons (e.g., sequins)
  • Claims for the of approval for children (NIOSH does not approve any type of respiratory protection for children)
  • Filtering facepiece respirator has ear loops instead of headbands

Check the respirator approval markings using the Example of Correct Exterior Markings on a NIOSH-Approved Filtering Facepiece Respirator graphic.

More Tips to Spot Counterfeit Respirators

Note – Below the most recent listings are additional counterfeit respirators.

Breath Buddy is NOT a NIOSH approval holder and they are misrepresenting product by indicating it can be used with half and full facepieces made by other manufacturers who hold NIOSH approvals.

Breath Buddy is NOT a NIOSH approval holder and they are misrepresenting product by indicating it can be used with half and full facepieces made by other manufacturers who hold NIOSH approvals. The Breath Buddy Particulate Filter is NOT a component associated with a NIOSH approval. If this filter is used in place of the filter component associated with the NIOSH-approved respiratory protective device (RPD), it will void the NIOSH approval. (1/26/2022)

Chengde Technology Co., Ltd. is misusing NIOSH test information regarding Gosbuy KN95 face masks.

Chengde Technology Co., Ltd. is misusing NIOSH test information regarding Gosbuy KN95 face masks. It is being marketed as being tested by NPPTL, using an image of the test setup from the assessment. As stated on the NIOSH website, these results are not to be used by manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and importers to make claims about their products and/or to influence purchasers and cannot be used to make claims that the product meets NIOSH approval requirements. Chengde Technology Co., Ltd. is not a NIOSH approval holder or a private label assignee. (1/18/2022)

Good Mask Co. is misusing NIOSH test information regarding the “Good Folding KN95” mask

Good Mask Co. is misusing NIOSH test information regarding the “Good Folding KN95” mask; marketing as “CDC-approved, NIOSH-certified”. This statement is misleading because CDC, through NIOSH, does not approve KN95 masks or any other respiratory protective device certified to international standards. Additionally, Good Mask Co. is misusing NIOSH test information. The product package indicates it meets Chinese standard GB 2626-2006 and was submitted to NIOSH under an International Respirator Assessment request. It is being marketed using results from the assessment. As stated on the NIOSH website, these results are not to be used by manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and importers to make claims about their products and/or to influence purchasers and cannot be used to make claims that the product meets NIOSH approval requirements. Huizhou Green Communication Equipment Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is not a NIOSH approval holder or a private label assignee. (1/13/2022)

The Health Protective KN95 mask is being marketed as “Certified KN95 respirator mask, adopted by the CDC”.  This statement is misleading because CDC, through NIOSH, does not approve KN95 masks or any other respiratory protective device certified to international standards.

The Health Protective KN95 mask is being marketed as “Certified KN95 respirator mask, adopted by the CDC”. This statement is misleading because CDC, through NIOSH, does not approve KN95 masks or any other respiratory protective device certified to international standards. Additionally, Health Protective is misusing NIOSH test information. The product package indicates it meets Chinese standard GB 2626-2006 and was submitted to NIOSH under an International Respirator Assessment request. It is being marketed using results from the assessment. As stated on the NIOSH website, these results are not to be used by manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and importers to make claims about their products and/or to influence purchasers and cannot be used to make claims that the product meets NIOSH approval requirements. Changshu City Hengyun Nonwoven Products Co., Ltd. is not a NIOSH approval holder or a private label assignee. (1/11/2022)

View Additional Counterfeit Respirators Listed in 2019 to 2021

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.

Example of the Correct Exterior Markings on a NIOSH-Approved Filtering Facepiece Respirator

Example of correct markings on NIOSH-approved filtering facepiece respirators.

Page last reviewed: March 17, 2022