The puzzling part of the KN95.

Dear Friends,

Today, the Government of Canada announced that it is recommending that Canadians begin wearing non-medical masks in public.

This is not a complete shock and I think most people would say this was inevitable.  It is not yet a requirement, but given most prudent countries have already gone so far, I would expect Canada to follow at some point too.  Already many US states have public requirements. 

While you could think I am emailing late on a Wednesday night to share the news, I’ve been up the last days frustrated and puzzled about four alphameric numbers and letters: KN95.

With COVID-19 going wild the last months, non-medical and medical masks continued to be in short supply.  The new age gold, also known as the N95, was not to be found, unless you were part of the mysterious 100 Million masks deal out of Europe. But for those who are not part of the E-N95 Club, here comes the KN95 – comparable to the N95 and made in China. 

As governments loosened requirements and allowed the KN95 into the market place, the flood gates of mask crusaders rushed in, including Oliberte.  

Problem is, unlike Oliberte, many came with a bag of what I call “CN95” (Crap N95) masks and in many ways spoiled the huge potential of the KN95.  

I am extremely proud of the work we have done here in Canada with our testing and research, but also on the ground in China. We moved as quickly as possible to find the right partners and factories to support and help you. While not perfect and some bumps on the way, I can confidently say Oliberte’s factories of our non-medical, medical and KN95s are highly vetted, tested and retested to ensure it meets the standards set out by Health Canada, the FDA and the CDC.

I believe the KN95 is an important mask in the fight against COVID-19, but because it looks and feels different, it has been misused – and now mistreated.  Under the right circumstances and with right knowledge, the KN95 may be the key weapon the world has (wanted or not) to help prevent further damage of the current pandemic.

In continuing that ode to transparency, while in no way an expert, I have put together a post on our website of the main issues or misconceptions of the KN95.

The post addresses:

  • Are KN95s banned?
  • Why are KN95s conisdered non-medical?
  • Are the KN95s faulty because they fail fit tests?

Instead of making this email another super long one, there is a REALLY long post about the KN95 here (So what’s with the KN95 Mask?). As I continue to gather more info, I will do my best to update this post about the KN95 and our other masks.

As always, thank you. Stay Safe,


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