It’s the new normal: whenever you walk out your door, make sure you have your keys, wallet, phone and mask.
COVID-19 has caused a boom for mask manufacturers, some of which have been less than honest
about the merits of their products. A TINA.org reader concerned that he may have rushed into purchasing a product that “may not be as helpful” as advertised alerted us to a possible addition to this list: G95
, a mask and other PPE retailer that claims to be leading a “health meets fashion revolution.”
On its FAQ page, G95 claims its products are more effective
than N95 products at preventing COVID-19. This is a bold claim, given that N95 masks
are considered the gold standard
of coronavirus protection for medical professionals, thanks to the seal they form around users’ mouth and nose. Here’s how the FAQ page puts it:
There is no silver bullet when it comes to the Coronavirus or COVID-19. You need to be diligent cleaning, disinfecting, washing your hands and limiting your social interaction. If and when you have to interact with people, our G95 gear can help protect you. All our gear has better protection than an N95 rated filter. N95 means that it blocks out 95% of particles .3 microns and larger. All our gear has been tested to filter out 99.75% of all particles .1 microns and larger. Normal masks or N95 respirators only protect your nose and mouth whereas our gear protects your ears and now with our Biogoggles your eyes. In addition, our new G95 Filtration Technology also has a NANO fiber layer that is especially good for this type of thing. You can find more on our filtration here: https://www.g95.com/pages/filtration
There’s a lot to unpack here.
First, N95 masks
do indeed block 95 percent of particles larger than .3 microns — that’s the definition
of the “N95” rating. Because of the way coronaviruses are transmitted, health experts say this is more than enough
to effectively guard against COVID-19.
Second, with regard to the claim that “all” of G95’s gear has been tested, the lab results
on the G95 website, cited as evidence for that claim, only show the results for tests on the Bioscarf. But G95 also sells the Biogaiter, Biogoggles, three varieties of Bioshields and the Biohoodie (which is somewhat terrifying
to look at).
When TINA.org asked for evidence supporting the claim that G95 products are more effective than N95 rated masks, G95 stood by its website and pointed out that the same filtration system is used in all of its products.
But using that filtration system doesn’t make its products better than N95 masks. Remember, N95 masks are so effective due, in part, to the tight seal they form around the wearer’s mouth and nose. The built-in masks contained in the Bioscarf and Biohoodie may be unable to achieve that seal and offer the same protection, even if the filter is as powerful as G95 claims.
The takeaway for consumers: do your own research, don’t just rely on marketing. If a company makes claims that contradict the advice of health experts or ignores scientific research
, think twice before clicking “add to cart.”
(Especially if the product in question is a $129 hoodie
that looks like a stack of toasters in a trench coat pretending to be a man. Seriously, what is with that hoodie?)
To read more of TINA.org’s coronavirus coverage, click here