Sunday, January 23, 2022

Razer no longer claims its Zephyr mask uses “N95-grade” filters

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Razer’s standard $100 Zephyr mask isn’t a substitute for PPE (as a result of it isn’t PPE), however its announcement of the Zephyr Pro final week spurred a surge of claims that the corporate had overstated the masks’ safety. Razer responded by scrubbing each occasion of “N95-grade” from the mask’s product web page late final week (through PC Mag).

Previously, Razer used N95 in a number of locations to explain the filtration and efficacy of its replaceable filters, which have been known as “N95-grade” due to their 99 p.c bacterial filtration effectivity (BFE). Razer now refers to them as “air purification filters.” While Razer claims that testing confirmed its filters meet a 95 p.c particulate filtration effectivity (PFE), your entire mask (not simply the filters) must block 95 p.c of small particles and be cleared by regulators to name itself an N95.

Razer declined to offer an on-the-record assertion in response to questions from The Verge. But in a tweet thread on Saturday, the corporate tweeted that “The Razer Zephyr and Zephyr Pro are not medical devices, respirators, surgical masks, or personal protective equipment (PPE) and are not meant to be used in medical or clinical settings.”

This isn’t the primary little bit of controversial data that Razer has modified on the Zephyr’s web page. On December tenth, 2021 (through Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine), it printed a brand new model of the web page that eliminated its declare within the FAQ part that likened the Zephyr to a medical gadget, respirator, surgical mask, and PPE, which initially mentioned the Zephyr “offers the same functionality and adequate protection due to its 99% BFE rating.” It now says “Razer Zephyr is not a medical device, respirator, surgical mask or personal protective equipment (PPE) and is not meant to be used on medical or clinical settings.”

On Saturday, January eighth, Razer printed a weblog to its web site referred to as “The Science Behind Razer Zephyr” that gives the outcomes of each check that the corporate put the Zephyr by (related or to not the subject of filtration) earlier than coming to market. It issued an replace (with none point out of what modified) to this put up in the present day, January tenth, that integrated bits from the assertion above, together with explicitly stating that the Zephyr and Zephyr Pro are “not certified N95 masks,” together with eradicating each point out of “N95” that was discovered within the authentic weblog put up printed Saturday.

Razer refers to those filters as “air purification filters” as a substitute of being “N95-grade.”
Image: Razer

The takeaway from the check outcomes that the weblog discloses is that, whereas Razer did put the Zephyr by a number of inside exams, it nonetheless wants exterior assessment from professional companies earlier than folks can really feel assured that it’s gone by a rigorous analysis. That extends to the Zephyr Pro, a model of the mask that provides voice amplification that’s set to return out someday in 2022, as properly.

When the Zephyr was initially introduced at CES 2021 as Project Hazel, we famous that it lacked “any of the necessary approvals and certifications from the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or Occupational Safety and Health Administration.”

When Razer launched Zephyr in late October 2021, it nonetheless hadn’t gotten ample testing to be thought of PPE, and we seen that the corporate referred to it as an “air purifier” in its advertising (whereas nonetheless touting N95-grade filters). Shortly afterward, my colleague Nicole Wetsman and I interviewed Razer’s Jeff Sandoval at our On The Verge occasion, and Nicole pressed him on the Zephyr’s lack of clearances from companies just like the FDA and NIOSH (on the 9:04 mark).

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