Warning over KN95 face masks

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The Health and Safety Inspectorate has contacted Jersey retailers that have been selling face masks after a substantial amount were found to be below required standards.

Any outlets which were selling KN95 masks were instructed to remove all remaining stock from the shelves pending further inquiries.

But the government said it suspected that there may be some suppliers
of the face masks who did not know about the HSI guidance and they have been urged to stop selling the products immediately.

Filtering facepiece respirators, such as the face masks labelled KN95, which are worn for protection against Covid-19, are generally only required for certain healthcare activities. In a non-clinical setting, a lower standard of respiratory protection would usually be adequate.

Director of Health and Safety Tammy Fage said: ‘As soon as we became
aware of the safety alert issued by the UK HSE, we commenced our own
investigation and have collected samples of various KN95 masks from different businesses.

‘In all cases of the masks analysed to date, we have been unable to demonstrate compliance with the necessary safety assessments to be used as proper PPE. Although some of these have a CE marking on the mask, initial enquires are highly suggestive that this mark may not be genuine, although inquiries continue.

‘The affected face masks are sold under a range of brand names. However, they will be labelled KN95 on the packaging, or on each individual mask.’

She added: ‘Any Islander who has bought KN95 face masks is advised not to use them. Any retailer selling the KN95 that has not been contacted by the HSI must remove all stock of the masks from sale immediately and is asked to contact us at the Health and Safety Inspectorate using the workplacecovid@gov.je mailbox.’

The government guidance is for cloth masks and other mouth and nose coverings to be used in public places, especially indoors, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

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