Yes, yes I did. Just so we’re clear here, I’m not trying to attack you personally nor attack your conclusion. With sensitive and technical topics like this, I just prefer to at least present some sources, data, etc. I’ve used to come to my conclusions.
You seem to be suggesting I have an opinion or notion and simply googled some source without reading it. I debated on whether or not to plaster all of the disclaimers and caveats in the link (the one you linked is just one of many), but decided against it for brevity. I’ll admit that may have been a poor trade-off decision, but I figured folks were more likely to visit the link at all if the post were more brief than not.
I’m not a medical worker, but my job requires me to come to office anywhere between once to all days in a working week so I wanted better fitment and/or protection than surgical style masks. Given that legit NIOSH-approved N95 masks were both expensive and better off being used by front-line workers (especially earlier in the pandemic), I have personally been using the NIOSH/CDC data for international masks to identify potential masks for personal and professional use. After identifying promising candidates, I try to find non-Amazon sources that appear legit and test for fit. Amazon has historically battled with counterfeits for “everything from laundry detergent to running shoes” and for these masks I’m generally unwilling to take my chances if I can help it.
Based on the test data and personal fit, my wife and I have settled on using Powecom KN95 masks from Bonafide Masks, a distributor in New York state for whatever that’s worth. As an example, we have also tried the Dr. Puri KF94 masks, but found they did not fit me particularly well (Medium was too small and Large was too big, classic Goldilocks problem). Data for both masks are below. To reiterate, there are many caveats to the data. (Edit: And as you noted, it is quite possible to get a counterfeit version of any of the masks tested)
I think given the data and the absurd amount of masks available online claiming to be KN95’s, you might be better off just trying to find a legit KF94 mask instead. I think it’s worth noting that while looking for KF94 instead of KN95 likely reduces the size of your search space, there’s still a chance that you’ll get a non-compliant/counterfeit mask.
Powecom KN95 Test Data: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/respirators/testing/results/MTT-2020-49.1_International__PowecomKN95_TestReport_Redacted-508.pdf
Dr Puri KF94 Test Data: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/respirators/testing/results/MTT-2020-252.4_International_KMCorp_DrPuriKF94_TestReport_Redacted-508.pdf