With the global spread of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising people to be prepared for disruptions to daily life. It is reminded to us, again, that among the most important measures to avoid the spread of infections are washing hands often and using face masks, as necessary. These measures reduce the spread of infection to other people as viruses are transmitted from person-to-person when infected persons are in close contact with others. Further information can be found here.
ASTM Standard Governing Medical Face Mask Specifications
ASTM F2100 Standard Specification for Performance of Materials Used in Medical Face Masks defines medical face masks as items of protective clothing designed with the intended purpose of isolating the wearer’s nose and mouth from the external environment. The primary purpose of protective clothing is to act as a barrier for the wearer to a hazard. In addition, the product may also offer protection as a barrier which prevents the body from being a source of contamination. Medical face mask performance classes are based on the barrier performance properties of the medical face mask materials (fluid resistance, bacterial filtration efficiency, and sub-micron filtration efficiency).
When purchasing medical masks, the selection of the appropriate type of mask should depend on the potential exposure hazards. A medical mask should be worn if working in the healthcare setting or if you have respiratory symptoms. Note that COVID-19 is a different virus than the virus causing Ebola, which is transmitted through infected bodily fluids. Due to these requirements, WHO emphasizes that the requirements for face masks are different than those required for Ebola.
As the global stockpiles of medical masks are decreasing, it is important to ensure that the manufacturer of masks complies with the necessary requirements and tests set by international standards and regulatory offices.
ADMET works with medical device and textile manufacturer and suppliers to ensure your end-products are tested and product claims are verified.