Secondhand, Used Masks Cleaned for Resale: Video – Fact Check

Image about Secondhand Used Masks Cleaned for Resale, Video
Secondhand Used Masks Cleaned for Resale, Video


Shocking Video: Secondhand..used masks being cleaned n repackaged with bare hands for resale. Ticking time bomb for in house biological weapon ready to spread million of other bacteria n viruses if not Corona.

Other Versions

OMG – Used masks are being cleaned for reuse – plz dispose used masks properly

Fact Check:

A video is doing rounds widely online with shocking claims saying it shows how Secondhand, Used Masks are Cleaned and Repackaged with Bare Hands for Resale. The message warns users it is like a ticking time bomb, in house biological weapon ready to spread millions of other bacteria and viruses if not Corona. Further, the message tells people to use mask only when seriously sick and buy them from reliable sources. The claim as such is a hoax carrying some valid information explained here.

About the Video in Circulation

The video in question shows a group of people working with cleaning N95 face masks and in the background are bags full of same. The person speaking in the video talks about them along with two other types of masks packed inside cartons. YouTube channel PINK Tech shared the video on 10th March 2020 saying it shows a gang selling used masks after cleaning. Amidst the global epidemic of Coronavirus and its deadly fears, many viewers bought the story.

Not Video of Used Masks Cleaned for Resale

The person speaking in the video is in fact boasting about the quantity of masks showing the ‘live stock’. He mentions the date 22nd February 2020, saying work is going on and adding there are total 5 lacs pieces of N95 masks. Then he goes on to show ‘live stock’ of 2 Ply and 3 Ply face masks packed inside cartons. The video in fact shows workers wearing masks and gloves, beating and cleaning the N95 masks for packing. Considering health risks, recycling of the masks is also not allowed. In the background of the video are many bags of masks, which gave the impression they are used masks. However, there are no credible reports suggesting the video shows secondhand, used masks cleaned for resale.

The demand for N95 masks in India increased heavily since the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 cases started emerging. The N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) are tight-fitting respirators said to filter at least 95% of airborne particles, including bacteria and viruses. You can learn more about N95 respirators and face masks on US Food and Drug Administration website Notably, there are not many manufacturers of N95 masks in India and they are mostly imported from abroad or few other places in India. Specifically, the VENUS brand of masks in the video look pretty new alongside new, other types of masks packed in paper cartons. More importantly, the Company is based in Navi Mumbai.

So, what you see in the video is most probably a stock of large shipment kind of import/transport lot of N95 masks. The workers are in fact cleaning the new masks before packing. The person speaking in the video is probably the owner boasting about the large stock in time of crisis.

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Prashanth Damarla