3M Respirators in International Packaging Made Available in US during COVID-19

3M is continuing to address the COVID-19 pandemic with many tactics to help protect those responding to the outbreak, including healthcare workers and first responders. In early April, 3M reached agreement with the U.S. government on a plan that, with the Trump Administration’s assistance, will enable FEMA to import 166.5 million respirators into the United States over a 3-month period starting in April, from our plants in Asia.

  • Read this if you have received 3M respirators in international packaging

    The Food and Drug Administration requires this information be made available to everyone who has received these respirators.

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How can I tell if this is authentic/genuine 3M product?

No entity other than FEMA is directly acquiring these models from 3M and distributing them in the United States.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)  is importing the following models of 3M respirators from Asia:  9010, 9010CN, 9132, 9542, 9542V, 9552, 9502, 9502+, 9502V+, 9541, 9541V, 9501, 9501V+, 9501+ 9505+, 9002, and 9001.  These products will be distributed by FEMA, free of charge, to the entities they determine need them the most.  If the respirator is one of the model numbers above and has been distributed for free and can be traced to a FEMA source of supply, it is more likely to be an authentic product.  

Product Comparisons

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined certain approvals from other countries are similar to the N95 because they have similar levels of filtration and assigned protection factors of 10.  KN95 is one of the approvals that the CDC has determined is similar to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) N95. 

Although KN90 respirators have an assigned protection factor of 10 in China, they are not considered similar to N95 because the filter efficiency is at least 90%, rather than at least 95%.

Download Technical Bulletin (PDF, 1.6 MB)

Cup - Shaped Masks

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Flat Fold Masks with Headbands

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a KN90 respirator, and how should it be used?
    KN90 respirators are respirators that meet a China government standard that requires lower filtration efficiency performance (at least 90%) than NIOSH N95 (at least 95%). While KN90 respirators are a form of respiratory protection, the amount of exposure reduction they are designed to provide is lower than the minimum amount that U.S. OSHA and NIOSH associates with the filtering facepiece class of respirators. Therefore, it is recommended that the use of KN90 respirators be considered a Crisis Capacity Strategy and that they be used where masks would otherwise be used, per the CDC prioritization table titled “Suggested facemask or respirator use, based upon distance from a patient with suspected or known COVID-19 and use of source control” in the CDC’s Crisis Capacity Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators.
  • In the U.S., earloops are often seen on masks but not on NIOSH-approved respirators, which typically have head bands. In some countries outside the U.S., however, it is more common for respirators to feature earloops. In countries outside the US, 3M does manufacture some certified respirators which feature earloops. Among the models being imported by FEMA are several models that feature earloops. Information about which respirator models contain earloops can be found in this product table(PDF,546.30 KB). NIOSH states “limited assessment of ear loop designs indicate difficulty achieving a proper fit. While filter efficiency shows how well the filter media performs, users must ensure a proper fit is achieved.” As these respirators are designed for people with facial features common in China and Asia, they may not fit as well as respirators intended for sale and use in the U.S. Therefore, users must be fit tested before use. If a fit test cannot be conducted, or the wearer cannot pass a fit test, then these products should be used as a facemask, not a respirator.
  • User Instructions, training videos, and donning posters can be found in this product table (PDF, 546.30 KB).
  • U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) respiratory protection standards mandate that individuals using new respirator models receive training and a fit test prior to the first time they use a respirator. In addition, individuals should read and follow all user instructions, including conducting a user seal check every time they put on a respirator.

    Respirator fit testing resources can be found on the 3M website.

  • These respirators were designed to fit people with facial features common in China and other countries in Asia. As a result, some individuals with different facial features may not be able to achieve a satisfactory fit. U.S. customers may experience fit test passage rates that are lower than they are accustomed to. If a fit test cannot be conducted, or the wearer cannot pass a fit test, then these products should be used as a facemask, not a respirator.