Medical masks are extremely expensive due to the Coronavirus situation around the world. Many netizens have reported that there are fake medical masks out on the market made from super thin tissue. A recent discovery has shown that the issue is now worse with illegal households recycling used masks, repackaging it as brand new medical masks. The structure of a mask changes and does not work the same in terms of protection against viruses and dust unless the mask states that it is washable.
Public authorities inspected a house and discovered a group of teenagers washing, ironing, and packaging the masks into brand new paper boxes. The Wiharn Daeng Chief District Officer Somsak Kaewsaena, Police Colonel Pairoj Trisopon from the Wiharn Daeng Police Station in Saraburi Province and other related officials went to inspect the suspicious household on 2 March 2020 at 13.00. The home is used as a second-hand store that buys used goods and recyclable materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, and more. Officials found 6 male teenagers attempting to sell used masks from the trash as brand new masks.
Some of the teenagers were using an iron to flatten the masks out on a piece of wood. The masks are pulled tightly at all 4 corners then placed inside a clear plastic bag. The bag then goes into a paper box before being sent out onto the market. Outside the house is a big washing machine and 2 more irons. Big bags and sacks were full of used medical masks that needed to be separated. It is estimated that there were tens of thousands used masks.
The house belonged to Jintana Vichai 47 years old, who wasn’t at home when officials arrived. Kunanon 17-year-old the son was taking care of the recycling business. The teenagers are paid 1 THB per mask that they recycle, most are able to recycle 300-400 per day. Kunanon stated that the masks were from a factory, but he doesn’t know exactly where. His mother takes care of the business and is the one who sells the masks. When officials called Jintana, she claimed that the metal used in the masks was being pulled out for recycling and the masks were not being resold but evidence shows otherwise.
FB Caption: Each teenager is paid 1 THB per 1 mask that they recycle. What do you think about used medical masks being resold as brand new masks?
Source: Naewna News