According to NBC News: “As many as 1.9 million counterfeit 3M masks made their way to about 40 hospitals in Washington state, according to the state hospital association, spurring officials to alert staff members and pull the masks off the shelf. The elite Cleveland Clinic recently acknowledged that, since November, it had inadvertently distributed 3M counterfeits to hospital staffers. A Minnesota hospital made a similar admission.”
Nurses at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune became suspicious in November, NBC reported, that the misshapen and odd-smelling “3M” masks they were given are knockoffs.
They then matched the masks’ lot numbers to those the company listed online as possible fakes.
“People have been terrified for the last 2½ months,”Daniel Hayes, a nurse and union vice president at the hospital, told NBC. “They felt like they were taking their lives in their hands, and they don’t have anything else to wear.”
Over the past several months, 3M has seized substantial quantities of counterfeit model 1860, 1860S, and 1870+ surgical respirators “which had been sold or offered to government agencies in at least six different states,” 3M wrote in a letter it released last month.
Kevin Rhodes, 3M’s vice president and deputy general counsel, said medical facilities and health care workers should check the company’s website for tips on how to spot fakes.