Razer has removed every mention of its Zephyr and recently announced Zephyr Pro smart face masks, including “N95-grade” filters from its website and other marketing materials. “The wearable is not a medical device in and of itself, nor is it certified as an N95 mask,” a Razer spokesperson told Engadget. “To avoid confusion, we are in the process of removing all references to ‘N95 Grade Filter’ from our marketing materials.”
The company’s website now states, “Razer Zephyr is not a certified N95 mask, medical device, respirator, surgical mask, or personal protective equipment (PPE) and is not intended for use in medical or clinical settings.” Following the change, Razer claims the Zephyr’s filters are 95 percent effective at filtering out particulates and 99 percent against bacteria. The company told Engadget it will also notify Zephyr owners of the change.
The change comes after YouTuber Naomi Wu wrote a Twitter thread about the wearable over the weekend and publications such as PC Mag drew attention to Razer’s labeling. In November, Wu posted an extensive review and teardown of the Razer Zephyr, saying the company’s marketing of the smart mask was “deceptive.” Wu echoed those claims after the company announced its new “Pro” variant of the Zephyr at CES 2022.
🧵@Razer contacted me and told me they plan to remove N95 marketing from Zephyr website.
Sorry but no, that’s over.
Media has labeled it an N95 mask, immunocompromised individuals and health professionals on social media are calling it an N95 mask.
As Wu points out in the video, “N95” is an official certification issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for respirators that filter out at least 95 percent of airborne particles. It is a designation that encompasses a whole mask, not just part of it, and explains both the fit and the filtration. Neither the Zephyr nor the Zephyr Pro is listed on the agency’s website as a NIOSH-approved respirator.
According to Wu, Razer made the change under pressure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and NIOSH, a claim the company disputes. “The clarification has come from Razer itself and not from an outside entity,” the company told Engadget.
The timing of the reversal comes as public health officials in the US and other countries have urged the public to wear surgical, N95 and KN95 masks, as opposed to a simple cloth mask, to better protect themselves from the highly contagious Omicron variant. . The new strain of coronavirus has sent COVID-19 cases skyrocketing across much of the world, putting even more strain on hospital systems already on the brink of burnout.
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