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Throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) have been conducting checks on the prices and genuinity of facemasks sold which revealed a worrying pattern of counterfeit masks being sold as genuine face masks.
In a recent raid at a Puchong shop this week, the police revealed that the modus operandi was to purchase generic facemasks from China and re-package them.
So how do you tell a fake facemask from the real?
The first thing you need to know is what a genuine surgical facemask is made of, which is three very important layers:
- Outermost – waterproof, non-woven fabric
- Middle – melt-blown filter made of plastics
- Innermost – non-woven fabric that’s not waterproof
Then, all you need is a lighter.
Method 1 – Burn, baby, burn
Pharmacist Zeff Tan told Channel News Asia that the filter material of a true three-ply mask is made out of plastics, such as polythene and polypropylene. So when it meets flame, it will melt instead of lighting up or producing sparks.
A counterfeit or fake facemask often uses cheaper materials mixed with paper. So when it’s brought to flame, it catches fire and produces sparks.
Method 2 – Breath test
Instead of burning that facemask you spent your hard-earned money on, there’s another way to test its legitimacy with a lighter.
All you have to do is to wear the mask and try to blow out the flame in front of you. If the flame goes out, it’s fake.
She puts the pun in Punjabi. With a background in healthcare, lifestyle writing and memes, this lady's articles walk a fine line between pun-dai and pun-ishing.