1) Do not accept mask made in the same colour / wrong function
A professional surgical mask should be waterproof on the outer side, and breathable on the inner side. Having waterproof on the incorrect side will result in saliva dripping down inside the mask. If you see the inner fabric is waterproof, or either the same colour on both side, throw it away.
2) Do not accept mask without melt-blown fabric certification. It should pass 2 test, the static test and the flammability test
The price of a BFE99 melt-blown fabric can cost as much as 15 times compared to a non-woven fabric. Certification has to be a check on the BFE of the melt-blown fabric, being the most expensive of a MASK component. The static test is to ensure it can trap bacteria, and the flammability test is to burn to ensure no black flakes are found.
If you see black flakes while burnt or the fabric does not consist static, throw it away.
3) Try not to accept mask produced in a normal factory setting.
A surgical mask should be produced in an enclosed, dust-free environment. The room should be sterilized at least 2 times a day. This is important because 3-ply mask could not be washed. In any case, the mask is contaminated, the wearer might fell ill.
If you see food or oil stain, throw it away.
4) Try not to accept mask that does not cover the nose and chin.
A surgical mask should be able to cover the nose and the chin. The nose bar is crucial to have a face secure mechanism. Not having a face secure nose bar could potentially allow gaps to appear at the side of the nose, thus allowing bacteria to enter
If the metal cover is not able to fit the nose shape, throw it away.
5) Try not to accept mask suppliers that abuse CE and FDA.
A CE and FDA is a requirement for the UK and US respectively. The European Safety Federation have mentioned that there are many unauthorized testing centres out of EU trying to issue CE certification. Some commonly found cert such as ICR Polska, Ente Certificazione are counterfeit. More info can be found in the link https://www.eu-esf.org/covid-19/4513-covid-19-suspicious-certificates-for-ppe
FDA has replied to our email stating that
“Please note that the FDA does not issue registration certificates to medical device establishments. We will not be able to authenticate any product based on a photograph of a certificate that you are presented with. Registration and Listing do not denote approval or clearance of a firm or their devices. In addition, the FDA does not permit manufacturers or importers to use the FDA logo on its products. The appearance of such a logo is not an indication the product has been reviewed or cleared/approved by FDA.”