Counterfeit Respirators / Misrepresentation of NIOSH Approval

Notice on HHS Ownership of Respirator Certification Marks

NIOSH successfully registered the NIOSH stylized logos with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). NIOSH also registered the certification marks N95®, N99®, N100®, P95®, R95®, P100®, PAPR100-P®, HE®, and NIOSH Approved® with the USPTO. As the federal entity responsible for the Respirator Approval Program, NIOSH is the custodian of these certification marks. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the owner of these certification marks. Only manufacturers who are NIOSH approval holders may use these registered certification marks in accordance with applicable laws. NIOSH approved products satisfy the NIOSH regulatory requirements set forth in 42 C.F.R. Part 84. Any misuse of these marks is at least a direct violation of applicable trademark laws. NIOSH may pursue enforcement action. For more information, view the NIOSH Conformity Assessment Letter to Manufacturers, NIOSH CA 2022-1041R1.

Misrepresented respirators include all respirators that are falsely marketed and sold as NIOSH Approved respirators when they are not. Counterfeit respirators specifically refer to products trying to copy an actual NIOSH Approved model. Both counterfeit and misrepresented respirators may not be capable of providing the appropriate or necessary respiratory protection to workers and users. NIOSH posts information about misrepresented and counterfeit respirators here to alert users, purchasers, and manufacturers.

Learn more about how to identify NIOSH Approved respirators and counterfeits. View examples of counterfeit or misrepresented respirators below.

How to identify a NIOSH Approved respirator:

All NIOSH Approved respirators have a testing and certification (TC) approval number (e.g., TC 84A-XXXX). The NIOSH approval label, which you can find on or within the respirator packaging, includes the TC approval number. Additionally, an abbreviated approval label is on the filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) itself or straps. NIOSH Approved FFRs will always have one of the following designations:

  • N95
  • N99
  • N100
  • R95
  • R99
  • R100
  • P95
  • P99
  • P100

You can verify a TC approval number is valid by checking the NIOSH Certified Equipment List. More information is available on the Respiratory Protection Information Trusted Source.

To learn more about how to identify a NIOSH Approved FFR, check out the fact sheet and graphic below.

Cover page for publication 2021-124

How to tell if your N95 Respirator is NIOSH Approved (2021)
PDF, Image

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

Example of correct exterior markings on a NIOSH Approved filtering facepiece respirator. View larger version.

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 approval for children (NIOSH does not approve any type of respiratory protective device for children at this time)
  • Filtering facepiece respirator has ear loops instead of headbands. At this time, NIOSH has not approved respirators that use ear loops without the use of an approved fastener. The fastener connects the loops behind the head.

Check out more tips to spot counterfeit respirators.

Counterfeit or Misrepresented Respirator Examples
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. They are falsely indicating product can be used with half and full facepieces made by other NIOSH approval manufacturers. The Breath Buddy Particulate Filter is NOT a component associated with a NIOSH approval.  Users cannot use this filter in place of the filter component associated with the NIOSH Approved respiratory protective device. If so, 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.  The company references NPPTL testing claims , using an image of the test setup from the assessment. The NIOSH website states manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and importers cannot use these results to make claims about their products. They cannot use the results to influence purchasers or 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. Nor does NIOSH approve any other respiratory protective device solely 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 submitted to NIOSH under an International Respirator Assessment request. Good Mask Co.  markets the mask using results from the assessment. The NIOSH website states manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and importers cannot use to make claims about their products. They cannot use the results to influence purchasers or 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.

Health Protective is marketing a KN95 mask as “Certified KN95 respirator mask, adopted by the CDC.” This statement is misleading because CDC, through NIOSH, does not approve KN95 masks. Nor does NIOSH approve any other respiratory protective device solely certified to international standards. Additionally, Health Protective is misusing NIOSH test information. The product package indicates it meets Chinese standard GB 2626-2006 and submitted to NIOSH under an International Respirator Assessment request. Health Protective advertises the KN95 mask using results from the assessment.  The NIOSH website states manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and importers cannot use these results to make claims about their products. hey cannot use the results to influence purchasers or 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 or Misrepresented Respirators Listed from Previous Years

Report Counterfeit or Misrepresented Respirators

If you suspect you have a counterfeit or misrepresented respirator, contact NIOSH at ppeconcerns@cdc.gov.

Please provide the following details with your email:

  • Any manufacturer names present on the respirator
  • Respirator model or part number
  • Photos of the respirator and packaging
  • NIOSH approval number (e.g., TC 84A-XXXX), if present
  • Web url where respirator was purchased or found

The NIOSH stylized logos (shown below), N95®, N99®, N100®, R95®, P95®, P100®, PAPR100-P®, HE®, and NIOSH Approved® are registered certification marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

NIOSH logos, NIOSH without text, NIOSH with text - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health