A reliable source of KN95 masks for donation to health responders

I have done a good bit of work in China, and have networked with other CEOs in the Bay Area who do the same. One of them, friend of a close friend (with whom I cofounded a company 20 years ago) has a vendor who is able to ship industrial respirators to the US Express Ship.

I have already ordered close to the 3,000 KN95 masks for the local health community. I have another 1,000+ coming. Here is how: on NextDoor, a bunch of people are willing to donate money to buy masks. I coordinate a group buy, then, when the masks arrive, I split them. Everybody donates the masks on their own (although some people ask me to donate for them).

Anyone interested can get a group buy together (500 units minimum, $2.50/mask plus shipping, i.e. between $2.60 and $2.75 for CA, order in increments of 50) by working directly with the CEO in question. PM me and I will share the contact info.

A few caveats:

  • these are KN95s, not N95s. N95s are FDA approved, KN95s are the equivalent standard for a part of the rest of the world. Here is a comparison table:

  • These are industrial grade, not medical grade. The difference is that they are not suitable for procedures where exposure to bodily fluids is likely (they don’t resist liquid exposure). However, as of March 28, CalOSHA (and as of March 2 for FDA) industrial N95s are allowed for use in medical settings:

  • when you donate them, you should make sure to label them as industrial KN95s, not suitable for exposure to bodidy fluids

  • the masks have been tested by Alta Bates Medical Center in Oakland, CA and found suitable for internal distribution (one of our group buy members donated them there)

  • I am vouching for the CEO intermediary, not for the masks.


I saw this today on the New Balance site. It’s nice to see companies doing this.

A Message to Our Community

The global COVID-19 health crisis has called on individuals and organizations to bring their expertise and resources to solve new and extraordinary challenges. New Balance has engaged a portion of its skilled and innovative U.S. manufacturing workforce to develop face masks to address the significant demand for these supplies. We are producing prototypes for face masks in our Lawrence, MA manufacturing facility and hope to scale production using our other New England factories soon. We are coordinating our efforts with our government officials and local medical institutions as well other U.S. consortiums and testing facilities


What a wonderful reaction from New Balance!

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