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Coronavirus: Health Canada issues warning over counterfeit N95 respirators

Protective masks hang in a decontamination unit at the Battelle N95 decontamination site during the coronavirus pandemic, Saturday, April 11, 2020, in Somerville, Mass.
Protective masks hang in a decontamination unit at the Battelle N95 decontamination site during the coronavirus pandemic, Saturday, April 11, 2020, in Somerville, Mass. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Michael Dwyer

Health Canada is warning the public after identifying counterfeit N95 respirators, which the agency says may not provide proper protection during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The safety warning issued Monday evening said that the respirators, sold by Shanghai Lansheng Light Industrial Products, were falsely labelled as being approved by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and may not adhere to that organization’s safety standards.

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The counterfeit masks were being sold under another company’s name, Shanghai Dasheng Health Products Manufacture Co. Ltd., and used that company’s device number, Health Canada said.

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The agency said it has directed Shanghai Lansheng Light Industrial Products to stop selling the masks and issue a recall. The Canadian Border Services Agency is also working with Health Canada to prevent the masks from being imported into Canada.

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Anyone who has a counterfeit mask is being urged to stop using it, as it may not provide protection from the novel coronavirus.

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Health Canada is urging provincial and territorial health authorities, along with other health-care institutions, to review their respirator inventories to ensure they don’t include counterfeit products.

NIOSH has classified respirators marked with Shanghai Dasheng Health Products Manufacture Co. Ltd. as counterfeit.

Health Canada said further information about how to detect a counterfeit respirator can be found on the NIOSH website.