Georgetown University recalls several KN95 masks due to authenticity issues

Georgetown University has removed several KN95 masks from circulation on campus after the school’s student newspaper recently drew attention to the quality of face coverings being distributed.

Staff at The Hoya sent the university examples of masks that “obviously did not meet the standards” set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for KN95 respirators. The students pointed out that the CDC notes that KN95 masks should include markings identifying the mask’s manufacturer, model, size, as well as a release number and standard.

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According to the publicationthe university responded by recalling specific masks made by Makena Electronic, a Chinese manufacturer specializing in digital consumer electronics.

Makena Electronic also produces personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks which the university has said FOX 5 will no longer be offered – until administrators collect additional details on their authenticity.

“After further review of our current inventory, out of an abundance of caution, we have removed Makena Electronic face masks from on-campus distribution,” the university said in a statement. “Although Makena electronic masks are certified by the manufacturer to meet the KN95 mask standard, we are seeking further confirmation that these masks meet the applicable efficiency standard.”

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The university also mentioned that Georgetown acquires masks from multiple manufacturers and uses a verification process to ensure respirator quality.

“We routinely obtain test results or other evidence of certification or effectiveness from the manufacturer and/or independent laboratories to ensure masks provided to the community meet appropriate standards,” the statement said.

Le Hoya said Makena Electronic masks were available at campus PPE distribution stations as recently as this week.

The university told FOX 5 that the Makena Electronic masks have been replaced with other KN95 masks that have been approved by the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or independently tested.

Georgetown’s KN95 mask recall comes just two weeks after American University’s student newspaper, The Eagle, held administrators responsible for distributing counterfeit KN95 masks when school returned to in-person classrooms earlier this month.

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