Is My N95 Authentic?

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, many dishonest manufactures and suppliers began selling fake N95 respirators in an attempt to take advantage of the general public’s inability to tell the difference between a fake N95 and a real N95. Unfortunately, this practice continues today across the Internet. Fake N95 masks have not undergone the rigorous testing and oversight required of authentic N95’s and should be avoided at all times.  

The most important thing to keep in mind is that all authentic N95 respirators are solely regulated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH. Only masks that have gone through the NIOSH approval process are authentic. NIOSH is the only organization in the world that approves N95 respirators, which is why all authentic N95 respirators are stamped with the NIOSH symbol. 

Continue reading to learn what to look for to determine if your mask is an authentic NIOSH approved N95 respirator as well well as common deceptions dishonest sellers will use to sell you fake products.

How to Identify a Real NIOSH Approved N95 Respirator

All Authentic N95 respirators will have the following features:

Headstraps: NIOSH approved N95 respirators use 2 headstraps to attach to the face instead of earloops. Headstraps ensure that there is a proper seal around the nose and face. The easiest way to spot a fake N95 respirator is that they have earloops instead of headstraps.

Stamp: Every NIOSH approved N95 respirator has a stamp that contains the NIOSH symbol, the model number of the respirator and a NIOSH supplied approval number. This approval number will be in the format 84A-XXXX, with 4 unique numbers in place of the X’s. This approval number can be looked up in the official NIOSH database. If a respirator is not in this database, it is fake.

Lot Number: NIOSH approved N95 respirators contain a lot number provided by the manufacturer. The lot number can be found either on the mask itself or the box. This lot number is maintained by the manufacturer and allows NIOSH to track all N95 respirators in the market and ensure that they have undergone proper quality control.


Companies that are producing or supplying fake N95 respirators are using many different techniques to try and trick customers. They will often say our masks “Meet NIOSH Standards.” Whether this is true or not, these masks are fake and should be avoided. Only respirators that have gone through the NIOSH approval process and can be found in the NIOSH database should be trusted. 

Another common deceptive practice is to assert that their masks are “FDA Registered”. They may even provide documentation showing that the manufacturer is in fact registered with the FDA. These masks are fake and should be avoided. The FDA does not regulate N95 respirators. NIOSH is the only government agency that regulates N95 respirators.

Finally, fraudulent suppliers will often provide a laboratory test showing that their masks meet the same standard as NIOSH. Even if these results are real, these masks are fake and should be avoided. Just because a mask passed a laboratory test one time does not mean it can be trusted. Authentic NIOSH approved N95 respirators are required to undergo constant quality testing to ensure that every single respirator meets the standard established by NIOSH.

Pearl River International is committed to only supplying authentic N95 Respirators and in educating buyers so that they can feel confident that they are receiving a quality product. Our respirators have had NIOSH approval since 2014 and can be trusted to provide reliable protection against COVID-19. Please contact us with any additional questions you may have regarding the authenticity of N95 respirators.