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How 3M is fighting counterfeit masks

(3M Blog) During the COVID-19 pandemic, 3M has partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on this effort. Recently, this ongoing collaboration helped prevent more than 10 million counterfeit respirators from reaching frontline workers.

“3M is proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help combat counterfeiting of 3M N95 respirators,” said Kevin Rhodes, 3M Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. “This collaboration has helped prevent millions of counterfeit respirators from reaching frontline workers. We are committed to fighting the pandemic from all angles – manufacturing needed PPE, working to prevent counterfeiting and helping ensure N95s get to where they are needed the most.”

3M continues to take aggressive action against those who exploit the demand for N95 respirators used by those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight. 3M is working non-stop with law enforcement around the world to stop counterfeiting and remove potentially dangerous fake products.

Respirators are critical for frontline workers

NIOSH-approved 3M N95 respirators play a crucial role in helping to protect health care workers, first responders and other essential workers on the front lines of the pandemic. N95s and similar respirators are intended to seal tightly to the face, covering the mouth and nose and can filter at least 95% of airborne particles that the wearer might breathe in – including those that may contain viruses and bacteria.

3M has recently assisted authorities in Washington, Minnesota, New York and other states confirming that N95 respirators purchased from distributors with no relationship to 3M are not authentic 3M products. 3M recommends purchasing our products only from a 3M authorized distributor.

Counterfeit respirators are not tested and are not NIOSH approved. The materials they are made of is unknown – as is their fit and performance.

3M resources, tips to avoid counterfeits

3M strongly recommends only purchasing 3M N95 respirators from authorized 3M distributors.

3M is ready to help if you have questions about whether an offer of 3M N95 respirators is from a 3M authorized distributor, or if you have purchased 3M N95s and would like assistance authenticating the product. Please contact our anti-fraud hotline at 1-800-426-8688 or www.3M.com/covidfraud, which also contains tips and resources on 3M’s prices and policies.

Increased production paired with ongoing fraud-fighting efforts

3M acted early in the pandemic to increase production of critical supplies like N95 respirators. At the same time, the company launched a global effort to combat fraud, counterfeiting and price gouging to help protect the public against those who try to exploit the demand for critical 3M products during a pandemic. To date, 3M’s fraud team has investigated more than 11,200 reports of suspected fraud, counterfeiting and price gouging. 3M has removed tens of thousands of deceptive social media posts and e-commerce listings. 3M has filed more than 29 lawsuits to fight fraud, donating all monetary damages from these lawsuits to COVID-19 related nonprofits.

Early in the pandemic, 3M moved to full-capacity production of N95 respirators at our plants. We continue to make more N95 respirators than ever before to get personal protective equipment to frontline workers. We're now making more than 95 million respirators a month in the U.S. – quadrupling production over the last 12 months. Globally we tripled production to 2 billion respirators in 2020. Read more on the 3M blog here.

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