Razer denies its claim that the Zephyr mask uses ‘N95-grade’ filters

Deepak Gupta January 10, 2022
Updated 2022/01/10 at 9:45 PM

Razer has removed any mention of its Zephyr and has recently announced Zephyr Pro smart face masks, including “N95-grade” filters from its website and other marketing materials. “The wearable itself is not a medical device nor is it certified as an N95 mask,” a Razer spokesperson told Ploonge. “To avoid any confusion, we are removing all references to the ‘N95 Grade Filter’ from our marketing material.”

The company’s website now says, “The Razer Zephyr is not a certified N95 mask, medical device, respirator, surgical mask, or personal protective equipment (PPE) and should not be used in medical or clinical settings.” Zephyr filters are 95% effective at filtering particulates and 99% effective against bacteria. The company told Ploonge that it will also notify Zephyr owners of the adjustment.

The move comes after YouTuber Naomi Wu wrote a Twitter Thread about the wearable over the weekend and publications such as PCMag drew attention to Razer’s labeling. In November, Wu posted an extensive review and teardown of the Razer Zephyr, in which she said the company’s marketing of the smart mask was “misleading”. Wu reiterated these claims after the company announced its new “Pro” variant of the Zephyr at CES 2022.

As Wu points out in the video, “N95” is an official certification granted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for respirators that filter at least 95% of airborne particles. It is a designation that involves an entire mask, not just part of it, and takes into account both fit and filtration. Neither Zephyr nor Zephyr Pro are listed on the web site as a NIOSH approved respirator.

According to Wu, Razer made the move after pressure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and NIOSH, a claim the company disputes. “The clarification came from Razer itself, not an external entity,” the company told Ploonge.

The moment of reversal comes as public health officials in the US and other countries urged the public to wear N95 and KN95 surgical masks, rather than a simple cloth mask, to better protect themselves from the highly contagious omicron variant. The new strain of coronavirus has increased COVID-19 cases across much of the world, further straining hospital systems that are already on the brink of exhaustion.

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