Sep 15, 2020 - Health

500,000 "faulty" N95 masks seized by CBP officers in Chicago

The boxes of counterfeit N95 masks seized by CBP officers in Chicago.
The boxes of counterfeit N95 masks seized by Customs and Border Protection officers in Chicago. Photo: Customs and Border Protection.

Customs and Border Protection officers have seized 500,000 counterfeit N95 masks at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, in a shipment bound for a firm in Manalapan, New Jersey, from Schenzhen, China, the agency announced Monday.

Why it matters: Health officials say they're facing shortages of N95 masks used to prevent COVID-19's spread, per a September AP/Frontline/Global Reporting Centre report. The CDC tested 30 of the masks seized on Sept. 10 and found 10% of the respirators had a filter efficiency rating below 95%. The "faulty" face coverings risked "jeopardizing the health and well-being of everyone," said Shane Campbell, port director for the Chicago area, in a statement.

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