Safety Matters - Dos and Don'ts of
Purchasing PPE in the Promo Industry
DO: Verify with your supplier that their PPE products have undergone and passed safety and compliance testing.
This is the most important thing you can do to ensure that the products you’re purchasing are safe and legitimate. Be sure to ask for full Safety and Compliance reports before you buy (and be wary of suppliers who refuse to show it). A full set of safety and compliance documents should include, at a minimum, proof of FDA registration, ISO or CE certification of the factory, and product testing to applicable standards done by a 3rd party lab. A complete set of documentation is absolutely essential to ensure that you know what you’re purchasing. You can find complete Safety & Compliance information for our 3-Ply Masks and Nitrile Gloves here.
DON’T: Purchase PPE products with the FDA logo on the packaging -- it’s illegal and could make you or your client liable in the future.
It’s true that many of the PPE products on the market are produced in FDA-registered factories and have been approved for sale as PPE. But it’s actually illegal to use the FDA logo on packaging or marketing materials -- even if the product is FDA compliant. The real measure of whether the product is FDA compliant is looking up the factory in the FDA Database found here: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfRL/rl.cfm
Remember, too, that just because a factory is FDA-registered doesn’t mean they can make just any product. An FDA-registered thermometer factory, for example, is not registered to make masks. Some factories are registered for certain mask styles and not others.
DO: Work with suppliers you trust.
The surge in demand for PPE products has brought with it a surge of counterfeit PPE products and suppliers looking to make a quick (and often illegitimate) deal. Working with trustworthy suppliers can minimize your risk of getting caught up with shady dealers and counterfeit sellers. We suggest choosing suppliers you’ve worked with before, or suppliers with good reputations for reliability. When in doubt, check out a supplier’s reviews on ESP and SAGE to see what their past customers have to say about them! (Pop! Promos has over 80 5-star reviews!)
DON’T: Get tricked by wording.
Labeling a 3-Ply Mask that hasn’t been approved for medical use as a “surgical mask” is illegal and, more importantly, dangerous. Suppliers offering mislabeled products, even by accident, haven’t done their research and could put you, your clients, and the end users at risk of liability. Be sure to keep an eye out for products that seem too good to be true, and always ask questions if you’re unsure of the legitimacy of a product. A good supplier will be able to answer them for you!
DO: Stay informed!
Our industry has rallied together to provide accurate and up-to-date information about PPE, FDA regulations, and spotting scam suppliers. Subscribe to industry newsletters and magazines like PromoMarketing to get an inside scoop on how the counterfeit PPE problem is developing and what you can do to avoid it. Also be sure to regularly consult the CDC guidelines and ensure you’re compliant.
DON’T: Be afraid to ask questions.
We’re living in an unprecedented and uncertain time -- everyone has questions, and Pop! Promos is here to answer them. We pride ourselves on being a trusted resource for accurate and transparent information for our distributor partners. If we don’t know the answer, we will find it for you. Remember, we’re all in this together!