The Thailand Consumer Council (TCC) recently announced that they had randomly tested 60 brands of face masks on the market, and only a fifth of those tested had passed the COVID-19 standards of compliance.
The standards covered three areas, the filtering efficiency of 0.1 and 0.3 microns particles, pressure difference, and air permeability.
Filling a Demand Without Accountability
We’re in an entirely different place than we were at the beginning of 2020. Back then, masks of any kind were fairly scarce. Cloth masks were seen a lot, as they could be easily sewn by enterprising people cheaply. When more data became known about the transmission of airborne particles, these soon fell out of favor, and more effective plastic and artificial fiber masks took their place.
The market was suddenly awash with lots of brands of masks. The problem was, the public didn’t know much about a lot of these brands. But they sold like hotcakes, as people needed masks, and these were available.
Hopefully, the brands that didn’t comply will be taken off the market or be improved to meet the approved standards. They also should be forced to undergo testing at the company’s expense before being allowed to sell their masks again.
There were three types of masks tested: disposable, medical & surgical, and N95 masks. Those that complied with the standards for the disposable masks were: LOC, Medicare Plus, and Iris Ohyama. Medical and surgical masks that passed were: Nam Ah, Double-A Care, and TCH. And N95 masks that were in compliance included: Ease Mask Zero, Minicare, One Care, 3M, Welcare Black Edition, Snake Brand and Pharmates.
We’ve all learned a lot about human nature during this pandemic. But one aspect that we didn’t need to learn about was the extent of human greed when profit could be made. Consumers should purchase masks only from compliant manufacturers. Please stay safe and healthy as we gear up for the Omicron variant.