WASHINGTON - Georgetown University has pulled several KN95 masks from circulation on campus after the school's student newspaper recently brought attention to the quality of the face coverings being distributed.
The staff at The Hoya sent the university examples of masks that did not "visibly meet standards" outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for KN95 respirators. The students pointed out that the CDC notes KN95 masks should include markings identifying the mask’s manufacturer, model, size, and a number and publication standard.
According to the publication, the university responded by recalling specific masks made by Makena Electronic, a Chinese manufacturer that specializes in digital consumer electronic products.
Makena Electronic also produces personal protective equipment (PPE) like the masks the university told FOX 5 will no longer be offered — until administrators gather additional details about their authenticity.
"Upon additional review of our current stock, out of an abundance of caution we have removed Makena Electronic masks from campus distribution," the university said in a statement. "While the Makena Electronic Masks are certified by the manufacturer to meet the standard for KN95 masks, we are seeking additional confirmation that these masks meet the applicable efficiency standard."
The university also mentioned that Georgetown acquires masks from several manufacturers and uses a vetting process to ensure the respirators’ quality.
"We regularly obtain testing results or other proof of certification or efficiency from the manufacturer and/or independent laboratories to ensure the masks provided to the community meet appropriate standards," the statement said.
The Hoya stated that the Makena Electronic masks were available at campus PPE distribution stations as recently as this week.
The university told FOX 5 that the Makena Electronic masks have been replaced with other KN95 masks that were approved by the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or tested independently.
Georgetown's KN95 mask recall comes just two weeks after American University's student newspaper, The Eagle, held administrators accountable for distributing counterfeit KN95 masks during the school's return to in-person class earlier this month.