The tip sheet includes CDC guidance and provides dental professionals with information on identifying suspicious websites and marketplaces and characteristics common in counterfeit masks. 

The American Dental Association (ADA) has released a tip sheet for dental professionals to help them avoid buying or using counterfeit N95 respirators, or masks. 

The tip sheet includes guidance from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The tips include information on spotting suspicious websites or marketplaces—for example, be wary of websites that include a primary email contact that uses a free email service like Gmail or Yahoo. Typos and bad grammar usage on the website, as well as broken links, and unfinished content can also be a indicator that the company is suspicious. Also be cautious of customer feedback that seems suspicious. 

The association also warns that buyers should be wary of prices that are too good to be true and claims of “unlimited stock” as known shortages continue.  

As far as identifying counterfeit N95 masks, the association advises dental professionals to look for lacking or misspelling NIOSH on its marking, lack of an approval number or any type of marking. In addition, ear loops rather than a headband are a tip off to counterfeit N95 masks. Counterfeit masks may also claim approval for use by children or have decorative add-ons. 

The ADA reminds dental professionals to visit the Counterfeit Respirators/Misrepresnetation of NIOSH-Approval for examples of counterfeit N95 masks. 

In addition, the association offers a free, on-demand webinar called Respiratory Protection in the Era of COVID-19 that includes presentations from infection control experts and focuses on the steps necessary to introduce the use of N95 and other masks into the practice. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a letter last week warning health care providers that certain filtering facepiece respirators from China—ie, NK95 masks—may not provide consistent and adequate respiratory protection from COVID-19. As a result, the FDA revised and reissued its April 3, 2020 Emergency Use Authorization.