Health Canada wants some respirators relabelled as face masks

By | May 12, 2020

WINNIPEG — Health Canada announced on Monday that it has contacted companies that could be importing or distributing certain respirators and asked them to relabel them as face masks.

It said these respirators, including KN95 respirators, don’t meet safety and effectiveness standards.

This announcement comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expressed concerns, based on testing, that some filtering face-piece respirators from China don’t give adequate protection.

Therefore, Health Canada is asking importers or distributors that may have these respirators to tell their customers, and relabel them as face masks because they “may not meet the standards required for frontline healthcare workers, they could be used as face masks in settings where a 95% filtration is not needed.” The masks are not being removed from the market.

Health Canada noted that this does not involve the KN95 respirators that have been purchased by the government and tested by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

It is urging health authorities and institutions to review their respirator inventories and make sure they meet the government’s technical specifications for healthcare setting for the COVID-19 response.

People wearing these masks outside of health-care settings can continue to do so.

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