Project N95 in the News

Project N95 spent most of the last four years working to protect communities by providing equitable access to affordable, authentic respirators, masks, COVID-19 tests, and other life-saving equipment.

After distributing more than 37 million items of PPE and donating over 5 million, the organization made the decision to wind down operations at the end of 2023. Through our role as a trusted source of products and information, our work helped people throughout the country stay safe and informed.

To help remember this important work and keep the spotlight on people in need, we're keeping this page open. Read on for coverage from well-known media outlets, such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Reuters, and CNN.

What did we do?
  • Inform the public about standards applicable to surgical masks, KN95s, KF94s, N95s, and other highly-protective masks while advocating for a revised consumer standard for respirators.
  • N95 masks—gain insights from our experience in vetting and sourcing non-counterfeit N95 respirators and the implications for personal or institutional application of this type of mask.
  • KN95 masks—learn how to spot and source non-counterfeit KN95 masks, and the benefits and drawbacks of using this kind of mask.
  • Mask rotation—get information about reusing N95 masks (NOTE: healthcare workers are NOT advised to use any disposable high-filtration mask more than once).
  • Respiratory protection—read up on the wide range of respiratory protections available for homes, facilities, businesses, and institutions, including ventilation and filtration.
  • Efficacy of masking—get familiar with the science that reinforces the value of using high-quality masks for reducing spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
  • Supply chain—understand the context around the evolving supply-chain dynamics impacting public and institutional access to high-quality masks like N95s, KN95s, and KF94s.
  • Market dynamics—our online marketplace provided valuable insights into the economic factors at play for the domestic mask market in the U.S. and made authentic respiratory protection available to the general public.
Reuters Logo

Omicron spawns U.S. search for better kids' masks, new standard

Reuters - Lisa Baertlein - April 8, 2022

A handful of other groups also are doing leg work for parents.

Project N95 - which vets mask sellers all the way back to the factory - runs a website that offers a variety of masks for children - including KF94s from South Korea, KN95s from China, and specialty products made by legitimate N95 manufacturers in the United States.

"We do often run out," Project N95 Executive Director Anne Miller said.

Factories produce fewer masks for children than adults, and demand for children's sizes is increasing up to 15% per week, Miller said.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) certifies N95 masks and inspects the facilities that make them. A move is afoot to establish a U.S. standard for high-filtration children's masks, which could set the stage for domestic oversight.


D.C.'s pandemic procurements face scrutiny

AXIOS - Chelsea Cirruzzo - February 25, 2022

Project N95 executive director Anne Miller says that identifying authentic KN95 masks is complicated.

KN95s, which are manufactured in China, are not standardized by U.S. regulators like N95s are. Miller encourages people to look for the international regulation code: “GB2626-2019” or "GB2626-2006" which should be printed directly onto the mask. As City Paper noted in its reporting, D.C.'s masks only say KN95 on them, but a D.C. official told the paper that the boxes the masks come in do have the international regulation code on them.

The Hoya logo

DC Residents Raise Concerns Over Quality of Free KN95 Masks

The Hoya - Minoli Ediriweera - February 17, 2022

Many organizations unknowingly purchase counterfeit masks, according to Project N95, a nonprofit working to make respiratory protection nationally accessible.

“The reality is that many procurement professionals simply do not have the information they need to make good purchasing decisions,” the project N95 spokesperson wrote to The Hoya. “They are usually doing their best to protect students and teachers, but knowledge about the high level of fakes, counterfeits and substandard masks is not widely known.”

Around 60% of KN95s imported to the United States could be considered counterfeit, according to Project N95.

“You cannot look at a mask and tell it is authentic,” the spokesperson wrote. “The active part of a mask is the electrostatically charged meltblown layer, and that is on the inside. What you have to do is know who made it and be assured that it is not expired.”

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Is D.C. Giving Out Shoddy KN95 Masks? There Are Troubling Warning Signs.

Washington City Paper - By ALEX KOMA - February 10, 2022

But multiple healthcare professionals who viewed the masks told Loose Lips that they are likely not made up to proper KN95 standards, so anyone using them might want to consider other mask options.

“They are still being helpful by handing these out, as it’s better than a cloth mask in many cases,” says Jana Sanchez, a spokesperson for Project N95, a nonprofit working to distribute properly made personal protective equipment. “But it is dangerous if people believe the masks are filtering out 95 percent of particles and going into areas where they could contract COVID without knowing the risks.”

It’s unclear just how many substandard masks D.C. has distributed, but the problem seems to be widespread...


“It’s very problematic to not have the GB stamp and the number,” Anne Miller, the executive director of Project N95, writes in an email. “If the manufacturer does not take the time to read the standard and see that GB 2626-2019 is required to be printed, this may indicate that it does not meet the other strict testing requirements of the standard.”

Mask experts caution that it’s especially difficult to say for sure whether KN95s are made properly because it’s up to manufacturers, not regulators, to certify they meet the KN95 standard. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, housed within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certifies that N95 masks meet certain standards, but does not do the same for KN95s.

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American University unknowingly distributed counterfeit KN95 masks during return to in-person class

The Eagle - Skye Witley - February 4, 2022

ProjectN95 spokeswoman Jana Sanchez said her organization has “zero certainty” that the University’s KN95 masks are authentic because of the missing Chinese standard code. ProjectN95 is a nonprofit organization that vets personal protective equipment, including KN95 masks, for consumers and various local and state governments.

“I'm sure that the person who bought those for the University probably thought they were doing their very best for students, and we have to assume that their intentions were good,” Sanchez said. “But, you know, if it's me, I want to know where my mask comes from … how it was made and whether or not it's authentic.”

blue press-bloomberg

The Failure of Is Worse Than Inexcusable

BLOOMBERG - By Scott Duke Kominers - April 6, 2022

It’s a web design rule of thumb that the more steps visitors have to navigate on a site, the more likely they are to leave before completing a transaction. I’ve heard this summarized colloquially as “every click kills” — a maxim that takes on a far graver meaning in the context of a pandemic. When users drop off the site, they literally increase the danger to themselves and others.

This is all the more frustrating because designing a Covid resource information platform shouldn’t be that difficult. Earlier in the pandemic, teams of volunteers and even individuals built tools to find vaccine appointments within days. Project N95, a national clearinghouse for personal protective equipment, was launched in early 2020 and operational almost immediately. In the case of, even just running a public contest to make the page could potentially have led to a better design.

Time Magazine Grayscale Logo

An N95 Is the Best Mask for Omicron. Here's Why

The Regulatory Review - By JAMIE DUCHARME - January 13, 2022

How can I tell if my mask is authentic? Knockoff masks are everywhere. About 60% of the KN95 respirators sold in the U.S. are fake, according to the CDC.

A true N95 mask meets standards set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). If a respirator does not have NIOSH markings, has decorative add-ons like sequins, uses ear loops instead of headbands or advertises being approved for children, it is likely fake, NIOSH says. (As an occupational safety agency, NIOSH’s standards don’t apply to kids.)

It’s even harder to know if a KN95 or KF94 mask is real, since they’re made outside the U.S. and thus follow different regulatory structures...

If you have questions about a specific mask, you can check if it’s on NIOSH’s list of approved N95s. Groups like Project N95 also vet masks, and engineer Aaron Collins tests many specific masks and shares the results on Twitter.

The Regulatory Review

Masking Up Against Counterfeits

The Regulatory Review - By Jasmine Wang - February 15, 2022

Although KN95 and N95 masks have been available throughout the pandemic, many consumers have not had the luxury of using them because of strains on supply chains and shortages of personal protective equipment. Now that many mask shortages and supply chain challenges have been alleviated, however, experts suggest that consumers approach their new mask purchases with greater caution.

When shopping for masks, experts recommend buying from vetted distributors such as Project N95, a non-profit devoted to increasing accessibility of authentic, quality personal protective equipment.

blue press-nytimes

How Long Can I Keep Wearing the Same Respirator Mask?

New York Times - By Tara Parker-Pope - January 27, 2022

Still, the C.D.C. guidance can provide a useful framework to help us make decisions about how long to use a mask. Based on the five-day rule for health workers, and assuming they wear the mask all day over an eight-hour shift, that suggests about 40 hours of use per mask, said Anne Miller, executive director at Project N95, a nonprofit that vets and sells high-performance masks. Many of us wear a mask in 15- and 30-minute increments as we pick up a kid at school or run some errands, which means one mask could last weeks. Realistically, if you’re taking a mask on and off frequently, your mask will most likely become soiled or the straps will break before you hit the 40-hour mark.

“I don’t wear my respirator all day long — I go to the grocery store and come back,” Ms. Miller said. “I find that I end up dropping them in the snow or the floor of the car before I wear them out. Usually the straps wear out before the respiratory capability wears out.”

CNN - Grayscale logo

Masks and Omicron Q&A: What kind of mask should you wear and for how long?

CNN - Katia Hetter - January 20, 2022

(CNN) The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance last week that urges Americans to wear the highest quality mask they can wear consistently and that fits well. Specifically, they classify the masks by level of protection.

Many public health experts have been urging this change for months, including CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen. I spoke with Wen to answer some common questions about masks.

"CNN: How does someone know if what they're purchasing is real versus counterfeit?

Wen: Buy masks from trusted sources. Project N95 is a national nonprofit that has links. Purchasing from the supplier directly — for example, 3M or Kimberly Clark — can also help reduce risk. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta has additional tips on how to spot counterfeit masks."

Project N95, the National Clearinghouse working to provide equitable access to personal protective equipment and coronavirus tests, is a reputable source for N95 and KN95 masks, Marr said.

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N95 masks get a facelift amid rising demand

ModernRetail - By Maile McCann - January 25, 2022

While sales of cloth masks may have driven platforms like Etsy to success in 2020, scientists and government officials are telling Americans to upgrade to high filtration models in 2022. In turn, over the past few months and past few weeks, the industry has reported rising N95 sales. Nonprofit Project N95, for example, has sold over 3.2 million high filtration masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) items via its marketplace — and donated an additional 300,000 — since late October. In total, the organization has sold 12.4 million PPE items through its marketplace and donated 2.1 million PPE items since May 2020.

Project N95 was founded near the beginning of the pandemic with the goal of connecting manufacturers making masks to the healthcare organizations and workers that needed them. Now, the nonprofit also inspects masks for all Americans to screen for counterfeits, sells verified masks directly to these Americans via its online marketplace and provides educational content to explain mask features.

“We are busier in January than we were all of December, and December was super busy,” said Anne Miller, executive director at Project N95. “From our perspective… that means there are a lot of people out there who are anxious and worried and concerned about exposure and protecting themselves.”

blue press-nytimes

How to Find a Quality Mask (and Avoid Counterfeits)

New York Times - Tara Parker-Pope - January 14, 2022

Finding a reliable mask on Amazon is trickier because you’ll see legitimate masks mixed in with counterfeits, although the differences won’t alway be obvious. If you must use Amazon, try to shop directly in the on-site stores of mask makers like 3M or Kimberly-Clark. (You can usually find a link to a maker’s online store right below a product name.) ... You can sometimes find N95 and KN95 masks for sale directly on the website of a mask maker...The nonprofit site Project N95 is also a reliable place to shop. ... Use trusted sources. A number of resources have sprung up to help people navigate the mask-buying process. Project N95 is a nonprofit known for vetting its mask suppliers. Mr. Collins, the Mask Nerd, has created a number of lists and resources for mask buyers. You can check out his Twitter feed, his YouTube channel and a spreadsheet he has created of nearly 450 different masks and how they performed in his tests.

CNN - Grayscale logo

How long you can wear your N95, according to experts

CNN - Kristen Rogers - January 14, 2022

"If they're made to the standard and certified by the appropriate boards in their country like NIOSH here, they all do basically the same thing," Bromage previously told CNN. "But there is a ton of knockoffs that are not certified in the KN95 side of things, that may meet the standards but they're not certified to meet it. And there's others that clearly don't."

N95 masks "are not made for kids," Marr said. "For larger kids, my 10-year-old wears an N95 that comes in a small size (intended for adults)."

"If you see an N95 as marketed for children, that should raise a red flag," Marr added. "There will be KN95 and KF94s that are designed for and marketed for children. With those, it's the same issue as we discussed for adults, which is to make sure you're getting them from a trusted, reputable source, because there's a problem with fake KN95s that are not nearly as protective as they should be."

Project N95, the National Clearinghouse working to provide equitable access to personal protective equipment and coronavirus tests, is a reputable source for N95 and KN95 masks, Marr said.

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12 Signs You Have a Fake N95, KN95, or KF94 Mask

NYT Wirecutter - Joanne Chen - January 13, 2022

On the mask There’s no branding. You should see the name of the company or logo right on the mask, whether it’s an N95, KN95, or a KF94. “Commercially speaking, companies are in the mask business to build brand loyalty and generate sales,” said Anne Miller, executive director of Project N95, a nonprofit clearinghouse that vets and sells masks. A blank mask runs counter to that goal. ... On N95s The NIOSH mark is missing. NIOSH—spelled correctly—should be in block letters and easily detectable.

There’s no approval number. This alphanumeric designation starts with the letters “TC-84A,” followed by four additional digits, and can be found on the mask or the bands. If there is one, check for it on the NIOSH Certified Equipment List. (Sometimes, crafty counterfeiters make one up, says the FBI. It’s also possible, though, that some might just steal one from a legitimate mask, whether or not they co-opted the branding as well.)

NPR Logo - Grayscale

You need a better face mask. Here's how to pick one

NPR Morning Edition - By Rachel Treisman - January, 13, 2022

Don't get scammed online

A word of advice for those of you who may be opening a new tab to shop for better masks: Make sure you're buying from a tested source, as experts told Godoy.

For instance, Project N95 sells masks from vetted distributors, and you can visit stores like Home Depot and Lowe's to survey their shelves. Korean importers like Be Healthy USA and Kollecte USA are a good bet for KF94s.

And if you're browsing on Amazon, experts advise going to the manufacturers' shop — like the 3M store or the Kimberly-Clark store — rather than third-party venders.


N95 and KN95 masks are your best mask option—here’s where to buy them online

USA TODAY - Felicity Warner - January 14, 2021

Where to buy N95s and KN95s masks online When shopping for an N95 mask, you can check the CDC's list of NIOSH-approved N95 respirators to confirm that the mask you're looking at has been tested and meets NIOSH regulations. All masks we list as "NIOSH-approved" have been cross-referenced with the NIOSH-approved list.

You can choose to wear "industrial" N95 masks that are often sold at hardware stores. "The FDA expanded under emergency uses authorization approval for industrial respirators that are not traditionally used in healthcare settings," Dr. Cassandra Pierre, infectious disease specialist at Boston Medical Center, tells us. You'll still want to make sure that the industrial N95 masks are on that NIOSH-approved list and provide a proper, tight fit on your face.

Popular Science Logo

The ultimate guide to reusing and buying N95 masks

Popular Science - Andrea Michelson - December 23, 2021

Beware of counterfeit medical masks Genuine lab-tested N95 masks — or their Chinese and Korean counterparts (KN95 and KF94, respectively) — are the most effective masks for filtering viral particles. The number indicates that the masks filter about 95% of aerosol-size particles.

In comparison, a surgical mask rated ASTM level 2 or 3 can filter out at least 50% of exhaled droplets that may carry the coronavirus. The downfall of surgical masks is that they don't fit all face sizes, but adding a cloth mask or mask brace on top of a medical-grade mask can combine the benefits of good fit and filtration.

N95s and other medical masks are preferable to cloth masks because they've been tested to meet a certain standard of protection. Keep in mind that counterfeit masks do not meet that standard. The CDC has a running list of common counterfeit respirators that have not been approved in the US.

Project N95, a national nonprofit, has compiled a list of various approved masks and personal protective equipment that can be purchased online.

NYMag - Intelligencer Logo

Seriously, Upgrade Your Face Mask - Omicron is everywhere. Dr. Abraar Karan explains why cloth masks don’t cut it.

New York Magazine Intelligencer - By Chas Danner - December 29, 2021

...the cloth masks everyone started buying in the spring and summer of 2020 were never a great match for an airborne virus like COVID and are even less so against the more and more transmissible variants that have emerged, such as Delta and Omicron. Surgical masks, when medical-grade quality and worn tightly across the face, are better than cloth masks. But high filtration respirators like N95s or KN95s — which are quite comfortable, provide gold-standard protection against airborne particles, and have been widely available from reputable sellers in the U.S. for a long time — are what everyone should now be using and what every institution should be making available. (And while most of these masks are designed for adults, there are now finally some KN95 and KF94 masks also being made in smaller sizes for kids.)

blue press-fastcompany

There’s no mask shortage. You can buy certified N95s for $1

Fast Company - By MARK WILSON - December 29, 2021

But how does that advice help if we can’t source high-quality masks? Isn’t Amazon supposedly filled with counterfeits? And aren’t we taking N95s away from medical workers who need them? (That’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still claims, though experts beg to differ.) ... As it turns out, at least for the time being, there isn’t a shortage of N95s. The U.S. currently has roughly 100 million N95 masks in stock. The key is getting your hands on a real one, and Project N95 is here to help. The nonprofit’s singular job is selling certified N95 and KN95 masks at the best price possible. In practice, that means you can score a pack of high-quality masks for about $1 apiece. And at this moment, there are plenty of options. You can pick your preferred shape, color, and whether you want the bands to go around your ears or the back of your head.

NPR Logo - Grayscale

With omicron, you need a mask that means business

NPR - By Maria Godoy - December 23, 2021

KN95s tend to be a bit more comfortable than N95s, but counterfeits continue to be a problem. For safer shopping, check out a site like Project N95, a nonprofit that helps consumers find legitimate personal protective equipment. Or check the CDC's site for advice on how to spot a counterfeit and a list of NIOSH-approved N95s. (For health care workers who need surgical N95s, here's the CDC's list of trusted sources.)

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The highest quality, in order, are:

  • N95, KN95 and KF94 are the most effective, provided they are genuine and have been tested to meet a standard. These are better at filtering the virus and now are more widely available for the public. These are disposable, so you will need to replace them (depending on how much you wear it). These masks can be more expensive. Beware of counterfeits. Project N95 aims to help people find a credible source for buying N95 and KN95.
  • Surgical masks that have been tested to meet a national standard (ASTM 2/3). These are also disposable.
  • Cloth masks that have at least two layers. These can be washed and re-used. You can also wear a disposable mask underneath a cloth mask. (Note: N95/KN95 masks should not be layered with other masks.)

For more information on N95 and KN95 see our previous mask blog.

Slate Logo Grayscale

What You Can Actually Do About Omicron

SLATE - By TIM REQUARTH - December 17, 2021

Stock up on respirators such as N95s, and make sure the mask fits well. N95s and similar respirators are far better at blocking the virus—both for the wearer and for those around you. The nonprofit Project N95 vets face coverings to make sure they aren’t counterfeit, and some can be shipped immediately.

blue press-nytimes

Counterfeit Covid Masks Are Still Sold Everywhere, Despite Misleading Claims

New York Times - By Andrew Jacobs - November 30, 2021

“It’s really the Wild West out there with so many bad actors ripping people off,” said Anne Miller, executive director of Project N95, a nonprofit that connects people to bona fide personal protective equipment.


Others, like Kelly Carothers, the director of government affairs and sustainability at Project N95, have spent the past few months compiling a database of problematic masks sold online. She said that among her findings is that one Chinese company, Chengde Technology, is responsible for nearly a third of all mask purchases on Amazon, with $15 million in monthly sales. The company sells masks under a number of brand names, among them Missaa, ChiSip, WWDoll, Miuphro and Hotodeal. Chengde has had its emergency authorization status revoked and then reinstated by the F.D.A., and earlier this year the company was cited by the C.D.C. for claiming its WWDoll masks were approved by NIOSH.

“American mask makers wouldn’t need to be propped up by the government if we just did better vetting of Chinese KN95s, and it doesn’t seem unreasonable for the F.D.A. to say that if you failed testing, you can’t sell your masks in this market,” she said. “That’s not only fair, but it would also save lives.”

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Why We Need to Upgrade Our Face Masks—and Where to Get Them

Scientific American - By Tanya Lewis - September 30, 2021


An issue with commercially available high-filtration masks is that they may not come from reputable suppliers. The CDC’s Web site warns that about 60 percent of KN95 respirators available in the U.S. are counterfeit. To find ones that are legitimate, Prather recommends the Web site Project N95.

WaPo Article Logo

Finding reliable masks online can be tricky. Here are tips that can help.

The Washington Post - Chris Velazco - August 22, 2021

It’s also a good idea to buy masks directly from the companies that produce them, but that doesn’t always work for individuals — the minimum order size can be too high to justify an order. In cases like those, consider checking out the nonprofit Project N95, which sources masks from verified suppliers and breaks down bulk orders into smaller packages that make more sense for household purchases. And despite what the organization’s name might suggest, it doesn’t just sell standard N95 masks — it also sells well-reputed surgical and KN95 masks. We’ve also had good luck with Aegle’s N95 cup and foldable masks, and the company offers a 30-day return policy if they fall short of your fit standards.

When N95 mask supplies were constrained earlier in the pandemic, KN95 emerged as viable alternatives. These masks, primarily made in China, can offer levels of protection similar to standard N95 masks when worn correctly. KF94 masks are also solid options for daily use, and at least one small-scale study suggests they’re as effective as N95 masks in preventing the virus from spreading. To ensure these masks work as well as they’re intended to, look for KF94s that were manufactured in South Korea. ... Our advice? You can skip just about all of these smart masks, at least for now. Instead, the most practical thing to do is focus on finding masks like N95s and KN95s that offer high levels of air filtration that actually fit well on your mouth and nose.

“That’s the thing that consumers need to look for,” said Miller of Project N95. “If you’re not comfortable, you’re not going to wear it. And it has to fit. If it doesn’t fit, you’re going to have leaks, and that’s not going to give you any benefit.”


[The delta variant. Wildfire smoke. Now is the time to break out the N95s, experts say]( "The delta variant. Wildfire smoke. Now is the time to break out the N95s, experts say" - Press Blurb")

San Francisco Chronicle - By Danielle Echeverria - August 25, 2021

On top of the extra protection from the virus, N95s are the best mask to protect you from harmful particles in smoky air. Surgical and cloth masks don’t filter out such particulate matter, known as PM2.5, experts say.

“Any mask that is not an N95 or higher will not do anything to protect you from PM2.5 particles from wildfire smoke,” Kristina Chu, a spokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, told The Chronicle last fire season. ... “There is no shortage. There are plenty of N95 respirators,” said Anne Miller, who volunteers as the executive director for Project N95, a nonprofit partnered with medical associations, universities and other organizations that verifies and sells medical equipment like personal protective equipment and COVID-19 diagnostic tests.

She added that with the increased supply, prices have come down, making the extra-protective masks even more accessible — some go for as little as 80 cents apiece, while $2 to $5 each is more standard. While N95s are disposable and designed for single use, the CDC changed its recommendation during the pandemic to allow for limited reuse.

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How to Find the Best Children’s Mask as the Delta Variant Surges

The Wall Street Journal - Betsy Morris - September 15, 2021

Project N95, a nonprofit that vets and sells masks and other protective gear, includes some children’s masks.

Some parents have turned to reviews and recommendations by Aaron Collins, an engineer who has been testing children’s masks in his spare time and publishing his results as a public service.

His Twitter account, @masknerd, now has nearly 10,000 followers and his work has drawn praise from other researchers. He has found that KF94s, which are made to a Korean standard, can also be a good choice for children. A spreadsheet with his research findings not only gives specifics of his testing but also tells parents where they can get the masks.

business insider

Your cloth mask is not good enough protection against Omicron, according to an expert — here's why

Business Insider - Andrea Michelson - December 23, 2021

Beware of counterfeit medical masks Genuine lab-tested N95 masks — or their Chinese and Korean counterparts (KN95 and KF94, respectively) — are the most effective masks for filtering viral particles. The number indicates that the masks filter about 95% of aerosol-size particles.

In comparison, a surgical mask rated ASTM level 2 or 3 can filter out at least 50% of exhaled droplets that may carry the coronavirus. The downfall of surgical masks is that they don't fit all face sizes, but adding a cloth mask or mask brace on top of a medical-grade mask can combine the benefits of good fit and filtration.

N95s and other medical masks are preferable to cloth masks because they've been tested to meet a certain standard of protection. Keep in mind that counterfeit masks do not meet that standard. The CDC has a running list of common counterfeit respirators that have not been approved in the US.

Project N95, a national nonprofit, has compiled a list of various approved masks and personal protective equipment that can be purchased online.

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This non-profit is distributing thousands of free masks in Fall River and New Bedford

New York Times - By Audrey Cooney - December 10, 2021

On Thursday, Project N95 announced a donation of 20,000 masks, including 10,000 N95s made by Middleboro's Gerson Company and 10,000 boat-style masks designed to fit children from Bona Fide Masks, a company in Westchester, N. Y. Of those, 8,500 are being sent to La Colaborativa in Chelsea. The rest are being distributed among local organizations to pass out: People Incorporated in Fall River, YWCA Southeastern MA in New Bedford, YMCA Southcoast in Swansea and Fall River, SEIU 509 and Bristol Community College. ... Miller said the non-profit targets underserved communities with a low vaccination rate to receive masks. State data shows that, as of Nov. 30, less than 57% of Fall River residents are fully vaccinated compared to 70% of residents statewide. That number is even lower in New Bedford, at about 52%. ... Earlier in the pandemic, healthcare workers struggled to find adequate PPE and N95s, considered the most effective mask against COVID-19. Now, Miller said, plenty of N95s and other masks are manufactured in the U.S. and priced lower than those being imported last year. But, she said, some people are less protected than they could be because they buy masks from Amazon or unauthorized distributors that aren’t genuine N95s. She said people should look to acquire masks directly from the maker or an authorized distributor like Project N95.

Consumer Reports Logo

Yes, You Need to Use a Better Mask

Consumer Reports - Catherine Roberts - October 14, 2021 (Updated January 14, 2022

Advice on Upgrading Your Mask Here’s what to do to level up your mask-wearing game.

Make sure it’s comfortable. Whatever mask you choose, make sure it’s something that you can comfortably wear on a regular basis. “I could create the best mask in the world, but if it’s super-uncomfortable, people just aren’t going to wear it,” says A.J. Prussin, PhD, a research scientist in the department of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

Understand the types. By now, N95 and KN95 are household names. But knowing the differences between them can help as you’re considering how to upgrade your mask.

An N95 respirator, as it’s technically called, gets that designation based on requirements from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for performance and manufacturing. It must filter out at least 95 percent of very small particles. The N95 is intended as a workplace mask, so the NIOSH standards are meant to ensure that it provides adequate protection on the job. To maintain that certification, regular quality control is required, says Anne Miller, executive director of Project N95, a nonprofit organization that sources high-quality and reliable masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and the general public. ... Counterfeit KN95 or equivalent face coverings, or products that don’t meet U.S. or international standards, have been a problem during the pandemic. But reliable sources for masks and respirators exist, including this list of products tested by the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory. Project N95 is another resource. And although the FDA revoked its blanket emergency use authorizations for various types of personal protective equipment in 2021, the list of products that received the authorizations is also a good place to look, Miller says.

Glen Harvey NYT B.Chen Graphic

How to Buy a Real N95 Mask Online

New York Times - By Brian X. Chen - February 17, 2021

“People don’t know what’s legit, and they don’t know which suppliers are legit,” said Anne Miller, an executive director of Project N95, a nonprofit that helps people buy protective coronavirus equipment. “We’ve had that issue since the very beginning of the pandemic.”


So what if you just want to buy a few to try on? Ms. Miller’s nonprofit Project N95 buys bulk orders of masks and breaks them up so people can buy smaller batches. “It’s a very painstaking process to go through,” she said.

No kidding.

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‘COVID-19 Clearinghouse’: Project N95 is matching hospitals with PPE suppliers

New York Times - By TALIB VISRAM - March 26, 2020

A new website is taking on one of the biggest issues of the coronavirus era: the shortage of N95 masks and other PPE, or personal protective equipment.

Project N95 connects healthcare institutions that urgently need equipment—including masks, isolation gowns, and ventilators—with suppliers around the world that stock them or that have the capacity to produce them. The online platform, which only went live in the early hours of Friday morning, now serves as an intermediary between the two parties, or as it calls itself, a “medical equipment clearinghouse.” ... Other founders that jumped into the collaborative effort include tech startup CEOs, a GitHub product manager, and a Code for America manager, among others, and the project has support from Andy Slavitt, the acting administrator of Medicare and Medicaid services under Obama. It has attracted social media attention, and retweets, from Mark Cuban, and Matt Cutts, administrator of the United States Digital Service.

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Getting Through COVID-19: Keeping Clinicians in the Workforce

Annals of Internal Medicine - Eileen Barrett, MD, MPH, Susan Thompson Hingle, MD, Cynthia D. Smith, MD, Darilyn V. Moyer, MD - November, 2021

Summary Individuals and practices that have unstable PPE supply chains can take advantage of the American College of Physicians' collaboration with Project N95 to ensure they have sufficient supplies (

Sharing and spotlighting best practices can provide incentives to reluctant adopters. The entire health care system can benefit when clinicians receive material, logistic, and tactical support, and foundational themes have long been recommended (9, 10). The adage that no crisis should go to waste presents us with many opportunities to do better—and the ongoing waves of the pandemic create a new urgency to do so. logo -square-

Project N95’s Rapid Rise to Support Frontline Healthcare Workers- - By Jessa Hurley - May 15, 2020

There is no glossing over these unacceptable conditions. But at Tides, we’ve been moved by the profound, lightning-fast collaborations created across sectors—often with our help—to fill the gaps in our healthcare system and meet medical needs during this painful moment in history through efforts, such as the Project N95 Fund.

Tides’ Partnership with the Project N95 Fund is Bridging Critical Gaps

Project N95 works with frontline organizations, governments and associations that are focused on procuring critical PPE and medical supplies, including ventilators. In fact, it recently became the official national clearinghouse of PPE. But before March nobody had heard of Project N95… because it didn’t yet exist.

In early March, word began to spread of PPE shortages—from respirator masks to gloves to face shields—in the U.S. due to the potential aerosolized nature of the novel coronavirus. “These sounded like stories from the Third World, but they were happening in major cities, in major hospitals in the U.S.,” says Nadav Ullman, a tech entrepreneur and investor with expertise in transportation and logistics.

Nadav, one of the co-founders of Project N95, says he started discussing this issue with others he knew who also had friends in hospitals that were going to run out of PPE supplies in just a matter of weeks.

With a mix of government, tech, healthcare, and supply chain backgrounds, this small group—including Andrew Stroup, Natasha Rishi-Bohra, Clare Pierce-Wrobel, David Yoon, and Jen Anderson—heard that nurses and doctors were asking kids to sew masks for them after school. Together, they did some digging and discovered manufacturing plants in China that had PPE supplies, but they didn’t know how to get them to the healthcare establishments in the U.S. There was supply somewhere, and definitely a demand, but they just weren’t connecting.

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How Did the U.S. End Up with Nurses Wearing Garbage Bags?

The New Yorker - By Susan B. Glasser - April 9, 2020

As the United States Federal Government and the private sector react to the developing COVID-19 crisis, partnerships between White House Officials and luminaries in Silicon Valley help shape the direction of new organizations that would later have wide-ranging impact, including the umbrella organization, The PPE Coalition (later re-branded C19Coalition), & Project N95.

On Saturday, March 21st, while Donald Trump was tweeting about the “Chinese virus” and circulating praise for the “great job we’ve done,” Eric Ries received a phone call from another Silicon Valley C.E.O. His friend Jeff Lawson, of the firm Twilio, told Ries that, to deal with the rapidly escalating coronavirus crisis, the White House was recruiting tech executives to help. Ries—the founder and C.E.O. of a new company, the Long-Term Stock Exchange, and the author of a best-selling book, “The Lean Startup,” which had made him a well-known figure in the Valley—was an obvious choice for someone looking to stand up a high-tech solution to the disaster quickly. He had long preached the virtues of going to market as fast as possible with what he called M.V.P.: minimum viable product.

America was watching, shocked, as doctors and nurses pleaded for protective gear and medical equipment such as ventilators. Ries was asked to help start a Web site that would match hospitals and suppliers. Sure, Ries said, he could have something up and running by Monday. What followed over the next two weeks was an inside glimpse of the dysfunction emanating from Trump’s Washington in the midst of the pandemic, a crash course in the breakdown that has led to nurses in one of the wealthiest countries in the world wearing garbage bags to protect themselves from a virus whose outbreak the President downplayed until it was too late to prepare for its consequences.

Ries’s first phone conversation demonstrated how awry things had gone. He reached out to a White House contact, and, when he mentioned the Trump Administration’s coronavirus task force that was asking for Silicon Valley’s help, the response was, “Which one?” Trump had enlisted his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to help with the pandemic response, and his murky new effort, which was not yet public, was already seen as working at cross-purposes with the official task force, overseen by Vice-President Mike Pence. Ries also learned that the Web site he had been asked to create was, in fact, not needed. “It took me three hours on the phone to realize the world did not need another Web site to solve the problem,” Ries told me.

Numerous relief groups were already in place. Some of them were soliciting donations for urgently needed personal protective equipment, or P.P.E., in the medical argot that the rest of the country would soon learn. Others were organizing sewing-machine brigades to make masks, or teams of graduate students to create designs for 3-D-printed ventilators. Ries thought he could help bring a bit of order to the chaos by organizing the small army of relief groups and volunteers into an effective partner for the federal government, for when it actually took charge. “I thought, Eventually somebody will lead,” Ries said. He spent the weekend pulling together a new umbrella organization, the PPE Coalition, and, as promised, had its Web site up and running by that Monday morning, along with a hotline to field requests.

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For the next few weeks, the requests flooded in. Eventually, thirty-one groups joined the new coalition, and the Web site provided links to organizations with names that tell the sad story of the crisis, from Operation We Can Sew It! to Get Them PPE. The sense of urgency was palpable. “Armageddon was coming in three weeks,” Ries remembers being told. There was a rush to help before early April, when deaths were predicted to peak in New York City and hospitals would potentially be overwhelmed in other hot spots around the country. But there was also a sense of disbelief: Where was the U.S. government? One of the volunteers kept saying, “There’s no way we should be doing this alone,” remembered Jennifer Pahlka, who founded the tech group Code for America, served as deputy chief technology officer in the Obama White House, and is now helping with a coronavirus-relief group, U.S. Digital Response, which advised the PPE Coalition. “In our community, we have sweatshirts and T-shirts and stickers that say, ‘No one is coming. It’s up to us.’ It’s really hard when they actually realize that’s true. It’s terrifying.”