The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today Thursday 11th June issued an alert against the use of KN95 facemasks as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), urging all employers and suppliers not to purchase or use KN95 facemasks as PPE.

We have previously highlighted "supposed PPE experts" mainly websites that have been created this year or non specialist companies selling fake masks with fraudulant certificates & illegal KN95 masks.

The HSE has today issued the alert against all KN95 masks due to the fact they are poor quality products acoompanied by fake paperwork. KN95 is a performance rating under the Chinese standard that is broadly equivalent to the EU standard for FFP2 face masks however There is no independent certification or assurance of their quality.

HSE-KN95 must not be used as PPE as their effectiveness cannot be assured.

HSE’s director of operational strategy said: “The KN95 facemask should not be purchased or used" & that “We have found that the lack of independent testing has contributed to there being a substantial quantity of inadequate and poor-quality masks on the market, claiming to comply with the KN95 standard.

“We understand a lot of people, mainly in sectors outside of healthcare, have bought these facemasks without realising they are non-compliant. We are concerned that people wearing them are not being protected from breathing in harmful substances in the way they expect. Protective equipment must protect.”

Domestic, European and international organisations continue to raise concerns regarding KN95 masks, including details of counterfeit and illegal products. HSE is working to remove them from the supply chain with colleagues in the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), Border Force, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Trading Standards to identify manufacturers and suppliers of these masks and prevent them entering the UK.

A link to the HSE article can be found here