I’ve been following the whole U-Mask saga for the past couple of months. A popular Italian face mask, designed to protect the wearer and others, being banned because of doubts over claims the product made, particularly about being a medical-grade device. The U-Mask website confirms that a new U-Mask Model 2.2 is about to go back on sale. It looks the very same as the controversial U-Mask 2.1, costs the same as the Model 2.1 but is no longer considered a medical device.
The U-Mask Model 2.2
The new U-Mask Model 2.2 looks just like the U-Mask Model 2.1 that I reviewed a while back. It still uses non-sensical jargon to wow potential buyers. Maybe this non-sense won me over a bit when I originally bought my first mask. Language like this product being an “innovative, biotech, reusable face mask that bidirectionally counteracts the passage of external microorganisms and neutralises them for up to 200 hours of respiratory use, thanks to its Biolayer” is enough to make me thing these people know what they’re doing.
After all, the mask is still incredibly comfortable and meets the requirement of being a face covering.
But, what about the medical grading?
U-Mask: No Longer Medical Grade
In answering questions posed by Goosed.ie, U-Mask stated, “on March 26, 2021, the Italian Ministry of Health prohibited the placing on the market of U-Mask 2.1 and ordered the withdrawal of the product within Italy. We consider this provision illegal and, therefore, we have acted immediately to protect our rights and interests in the relevant offices. The U-Mask fully complies with International laws and regulations. Following independent, international laboratory testing, we can confirm that all our masks are safe and effective”.
Previously, U-Mask had claimed their Model 2.1 to be medical grade equipment. Now, their certifications section has been updated to say the U-Mask Model 2.2 “is not classified as PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)”, nor is it “certified as a MD (Medical Device)”.
It’s a big of a cop out from the mask maker. Yes, this was always the easiest answer given that anyone can make a mask and sell it. Making medical grade equipment is a different story. The claims the company had made in the past were the reason I bought these masks. In releasing the U-Mask Model 2.2 without medical grade or PPE certifications, U-Mask has fallen dramatically short of their more recent statements of belief in their product.
And here’s the best bit.
A Lesser Mask For The Same Price
You can now pre-order the new U-Mask Model 2.2 which even come in colours named “Pretender” and “Amnesia” which seem to be ill-timed jokes by the company. I say that because you’d want to have a short memory to not realise you’re paying the same price for masks promising a lot less.
The original masks I purchased which claimed to be medical grade PPE cost €39. The same price as this new face coverings which are not classed as medical grade devices.
Will I still buy one? Possibly. I need new filters for my U-Mask and they do remain comfortable face coverings to wear. However, I’m shocked that the company has not reduced the price of their product to align with the fact they are no longer medical-grade devices.