During this pandemic, masks are in high demand. However, you might not always be getting the product or the protection you think you are. N95 masks in Canada aren't always the real deal and Health Canada has a warning for people about how the fakes could be dangerous.

In an advisory put out by the government agency, Canadians are being warned to not buy N95 masks that are fraudulent and unauthorized.

There have been reports of fake respirators that falsely claim to protect against COVID-19 being sold online and in some stores.

They don't meet performance measures and because of that, they might not properly protect you from the virus.

Across the country, N95s are regulated by Health Canada and it's illegal to sell or advertise any health products that make false or even misleading claims.

They're also certified by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

NIOSH-certified N95 respirators are meant to fit closely to the face when worn properly to reduce the risk of inhaling hazardous particles.

The N95 designation is given to those that block at least 95% of very small particles when carefully tested.

With fake masks, you might believe you're getting that same coverage but you're not.

You can check your respirator to see if it's NIOSH-certified and if it's fraudulent or unauthorized, Health Canada advises you to stop using it.

If you're concerned about whether or not you have a real N95 mask, you can confirm that it's been certified by entering its approval number in the NIOSH database.

Health Canada recommends reviewing the product's packaging to make sure it has the right markings and details.

Those include testing and certification approval number, the name of the manufacturer, the NIOSH name or logo, the model number and the filter efficiency (N95).

You can also report any potential false or misleading advertising or the sale of unauthorized products to Health Canada.

The government agency is also monitoring websites to find false claims or unauthorized products.

A Canadian Tire store in Ontario came under fire in February for selling masks that were mislabeled as N95.

U.S. President Donald Trump previously wanted a manufacturer of those respirators to stop exporting them to Canada which Justin Trudeau called "a mistake."

The mayor of Windsor, Ontario even compared Trump wanting to keep them in America to people hoarding toilet paper.

However, a deal was eventually made to continue exporting them to Canada.

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