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22nd June 2020

KN95 Face Masks in UK Circulation

KN95 is a performance rating under the Chinese standard GB2626:2006 which carries similar requirements to the European standard for FFP2 facemasks.

KN95 does not, however, carry any independent certification or quality assurances and is simply deemed as compliant by the product manufacturer.

All Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sold within the UK must be CE marked, with the only exception being PPE arranged by the UK Government for NHS use or for use by other healthcare workers. This PPE will have been independently assessed by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) or the Market Surveillance Authority.

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, several KN95 face masks have entered circulation within the UK. These masks may also be known as filtering facepiece respirators.

The likelihood is that these masks carry fake or fraudulent paperwork and are not of the quality to provide adequate levels of protection for the user.

The HSE has therefore issued a safety alert this month, advising that KN95 must not be used as PPE at work.

Any masks that are being used that do not carry the required CE marking and therefore cannot be shown to be compliant must be removed from supply immediately.

If there are KN95 masks in circulation which are CE marked, suppliers must be able to demonstrate how they know that the accompanying documentation and CE marking is genuine, supported by Notified Body documentation showing compliance with the essential health and safety requirements as per the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations (EU) 2016/425.

Please note the facemask shown in the article image is not representative of a KN95 product.

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