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(INDIANAPOLIS) – There are 1.5 million surgical masks sitting in an Indianapolis warehouse —
and neither Indiana nor any other state can use them.
The Washington Post reports the N95 masks are part of a Customs and Border Patrol stockpile. They have an expiration date, but the Centers for Disease Control said last month that expired masks are still okay to use in an emergency. The CDC says its tests on a sampling of masks more than seven years old found more than 90% were still effective.
Manufacturers say it’s not the mask itself that can go bad, but the elastic band used to hold it securely in place.
The Post says Customs plans to give the masks to airport security screeners, but hasn’t done so yet.