National agencies are asking health care providers and customers to know about scammers that are exploiting the COVID-19 episode to sell fake supplies online. As the medicinal services industry keeps on battling with PPE deficiencies, dental specialists should find a way to be sure that the provisions they are buying are authorized.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has given an admonition to online commercial centers that are selling fake respirators. The items are as a rule dishonestly promoted and sold as NIOSH-endorsed and may not be equipped for giving appropriate respiratory protection to health care professionals, as per the statement released on April 21.
Dental professionals can identify a NIOSH-approved respirator by:
- A NIOSH approval label on or within the packaging of the respirator
- An abbreviated approval on the facepiece itself
- An approval number, which can be verified on the NIOSH Certified Equipment List or the NIOSH Trusted-Source page
NIOSH-approved respirators will always have one of the following designations: N95, N99, N100, R95, R99, R100, P95, P99, P100. NIOSH offers the following tips to identify if a respirator is counterfeit:
- No markings at all on the filtering facepiece respirator
- No approval (TC) number on filtering facepiece respirator or headband
- No NIOSH markings
- NIOSH spelled incorrectly
- Presence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons (e.g., sequins)
- Claims for the of approval for children (NIOSH does not approve any type of respiratory protection for children)
- Filtering facepiece respirator has ear loops instead of headbands
Find a list of known counterfeit respirators on the NIOSH website.
FDA issues emergency use authorization for non-NIOSH endorsed respirators :
While health care professionals are urged to use NIOSH-approved equipments, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given an emergency use of authorization for non-NIOSH affirmed respirators during the COVID-19 flare-up — as long as they are utilized as per CDC recommendations.
For the most current CDC proposals on optimizing respirator use, visit CDC's site page: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators.
Fake COVID-19 disinfectants :
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the sale of unauthorized and fake disinfectant items on online commercial centers. The organization gave an admonition to eight online retailers and third party organizations advising them to expel the remove the fake items from their website. These companies include:
Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), items that guarantee to kill or repel viruses, bacteria or other germs are viewed as pesticides and must be enrolled with the EPA before distribution or sale. Locate a full rundown of EPA's endorsed disinfectant items at epa.gov/coronavirus.
Fake COVID-19 test kits :
In addition to fake respirators, consumers are also warned to be aware of fake COVID-19 test kits. The FDA has given a warning about unapproved fake test kits that are being promoted for people to test for COVID-19 without the assistance of a clinical expert.
“We want to alert the American public that, at this time, the FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19,” according to the alert.
The FDA says it is effectively working with test developers to develop a home test, however as of now, the best way to be tried for COVID-19 is to converse with your health care provider. As of now , dental specialists are not allowed to conduct direct testing for COVID-19.
In the event that you know about false test packs for COVID-19, you should report them to the FDA.
To find more guidance on how to protect your patients, practice and staff during the pandemic, visit CDA’s COVID-19 information center.