A real 3M respirator – the mask in which many Canadian health care workers are using to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 spread in health care settings. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A real 3M respirator – the mask in which many Canadian health care workers are using to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 spread in health care settings. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Health Canada issues advisory over fake N95 masks flooding the market

Since mid-February, authorities have recovered nearly 330,000 fakes from Canadian distributors

Health Canada is warning the public about risks associated with counterfeit N95 respirators being sold across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since mid-February, authorities have recovered nearly 330,000 of the fake masks from Canadian distributors, having detained an additional 365,000 at the U.S. border.

The fake respirators “lack any assurance of safety, quality and efficacy,” the health agency said in a March 19 advisory.

“Respirators are essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. They help protect health care providers and slow the spread of the disease.”

The illegally-made products resemble legitimate N95 masks by using the brand of established medical manufacturer, 3M.

READ MORE: 3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

READ MORE: B.C. bans ‘shameful black market’ of food, medical supplies; limits buying quantities

Products with missing straps, strange odours, or blocked valves are likely not authentic 3M respirators, the advisory said.

“It is illegal to sell or advertise counterfeit health products. The Department takes this issue seriously and will use all available tools to stop these activities.”

Health Canada has detected three fake respirator versions circulating the country – including ones made to appear as Health Care Particulate Respirator and Surgical Mask 1860 and the 1860S models.

Counterfeit versions of 3M’s Aura Health Care Particulate Respirator and Surgical Mask 1870+ have also been seized by border officials.

The public health agency said it’s working with the company to identify the source of the fakes and determine where they may have been distributed or sold within Canada

RELATED: 2 people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Visit 3M’s website or call its anti-fraud hotline (1-800-426-8688) for help identifying and reporting suspected counterfeit N95s.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kalesnikoff Lumber will be providing materials for a 21-storey apartment building in Vancouver. Rendering: Henriquez Partners Architects
Kalesnikoff supplying mass timber for several major projects

The West Kootenay lumber company will be making the products at South Slocan facility

Dr. Christine Perkins is the new superintendent of schools for the Vernon School District, effective Aug. 1. Perkins moves to the North Okanagan from the Kootenay Lake School District in Nelson. Photo: Vernon School District
School District 8 superintendent Christine Perkins resigns

Perkins is leaving to take over another district

The Kootenay Lake ferry terminals will receive a number of upgrades this year. File photo
Kootenay Lake ferry terminals to receive upgrades

The transportation ministry announced the $5.5-million project Thursday

Selkirk College has received provincial funding to assist students. File photo
Selkirk College receives funding to assist students

Provincial funding is available to West Kootenay students

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

Interior Health improves access to mental health supports amid COVID-19 pandemic. (Stock)
Interior Health connects people to mental health resources amid COVID

310-MHSU line receives positive feedback in early months of rollout

Most Read