N95-Style Mask Testing

Assess your N95-style masks physical inventory with confidence

Global Supply Chain was dramatically disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic causing healthcare systems of all sizes, and the federal government, to increase personal protective equipment (PPE) inventory or stock reserve supplies to meet healthcare worker current and anticipated needs. Today, shortages have eased, but supply chain leaders are concerned about PPE quality, physical inventory, and the impact these medical supplies can on their balance sheets. 

Many healthcare providers and federal and state agencies, including the strategic national stockpile, acquired PPE during the height of the COVID pandemic supply shortage and are now facing tough questions about their inventory. They ask: 

  • Will our inventory meet our clinical and staffing needs?  
  • Does our PPE provide the recommended level protection? 
  • Is our PPE decent or insufficient quality? 
  • How can we test excess PPE inventory of N95-style masks?  
  • Should we test or discard our non-NIOSH-certified masks?  

How were non-NIOSH-certified masks available?  

In many cases, PPE shortages compelled healthcare organizations to source items from non-traditional international suppliers permitted through an FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The manufacturer did not likely meet the full requirements of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as defined in their NIOSH Certified Equipment List (CEL).  

ECRI testing has shown that 60 to 70% of imported non-NIOSH-certified respirator alternatives currently exhibit filtration performance significantly inferior to NIOSH-certified N95 masks. 

How ECRI can help  

ECRI’s independent laboratories have the expertise and equipment needed to test the efficiency of masks. ECRI uses a machine identical to the machines NIOSH uses for its N95 certification process and determines if the PPE performs at the level claimed. 

ECRI is the only independent organization offering specialized PPE testing services coupled with customized consultation and recommendations to assist healthcare providers across all care settings in keeping healthcare workers and patients safe.  

ECRI also offers testing services to state agencies, the US federal government, and other organizations globally. 

Interested in learning more?

Request a consultation to discuss N95-style mask testing options for your facility.