Tens of thousands of U.S. airport security officers write to government: We want N95 masks

BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) — A union representing tens of thousands of U.S. airport security guards is urging the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to provide more effective masks to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus,media reported. The union, which represents about 45,000 transportation security personnel at airports across the United States, sent an email Tuesday to David Pekoske, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, urging the agency to provide masks to staff.

Tens of thousands of U.S. airport security officers write to government: We want N95 masks

David Pikowski Infographic

“Everything we do is for the safety of our passengers, but at the same time you have to protect yourself,” said Hydrick Thomas, the union’s president. “

The union wants the TSA to provide N95 masks that protect wearers from smaller pathogens such as the new coronavirus.

In an emailed response late Tuesday, Mr. Pikowski rejected the request and said the agency would continue to follow guidance on employee protection issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), according to union officials.

According to Thomas, airport security officers can choose to wear surgical masks. But according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the mask is not designed to block very small particles.