Update on KN95 masks

May 13, 2020 Laura Hale Brockway

Updated May 20, 2020

Editor's note — Our supply of KN95 masks has been depleted.

 

May 13, 2020

About KN95 masks

In response to the urgent need for PPE in Texas and reports of physicians without access to gloves, gowns, or masks, we sought to find available equipment so our policyholders could focus on their patients. When it was clear that no masks were available from any U.S. supplier, we broadened our search to overseas manufacturers. At that time (early March), availability was limited to the Chinese-manufactured KN95 masks.

Once we received representations that the masks were authorized by the FDA and that they met European and Chinese performance specifications, TMLT ordered masks and began distributing them to policyholders who requested them. To help keep you informed and safe during this time, we are sharing additional information we have received about KN95 masks.

Recent reports have shown that some KN95 masks have not performed to advertised standards. In light of such reports, we would like to remind you that KN95 masks are not N95 rated. KN95 masks cannot be held to the same standard as N95 masks. 

Further, while TMLT obtained representations that the masks were authorized by the FDA and that the masks met equivalent standards set by the European Union and China (as evidenced by the information included on the masks themselves), the masks have not been listed as authorized respirators by the CDC. Therefore, TMLT cannot warrant the performance of the KN95 masks that were distributed.

When using a KN95 mask or any PPE that you obtain during this crisis, please do so with a clear understanding of the level of protection that can be expected from the equipment. KN95 masks should only be used when N95 masks are not available. 

About the Author

Laura Hale Brockway is the Assistant Vice President of Marketing at TMLT. She can be reached at laura-brockway@tmlt.org.

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