Guidelines on community face masks

Redaktion PSI Journal

Published on 20.07.2020

Wearing oronasal protection is one of the most important measures to contain the corona pandemic. The so-called community face masks used for this purpose are reusable masks made of fabric and disposable masks made of various materials. However, these products do not fall within the scope of the relevant regulations for personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical devices. As the requirements regarding labelling, design and effectiveness are not uniformly defined, products of vastly different, often insufficient quality are placed on the market. In response to this, the European Committee for Standardisation CEN has published the Workshop Agreement CWA 17553:2020. The document entitled “Community face coverings: Guidelines on minimum requirements, testing and application methods” sets out the minimum requirements for reusable or disposable community face coverings and their materials intended for adults and (under special conditions) children aged 3 to 12 years.
The catalogue of requirements of CWA 17553:2020 includes inter alia the following points:
Design: dimensions, size for adults and children, choice of materials
Markings: instructions for use and cleaning, degree of filtration and intended user
Cleaning requirements: reusable products must withstand the specified number of washing cycles (minimum 5) at a minimum washing temperature of 60°C
Performance: durability, particle filtration and breathing resistance

CWA 17553:2020 can be downloaded free of charge from the CEN and CENELEC website as well as from the websites of CEN national members: 
ftp://ftp.cencenelec.eu/EN/ResearchInnovation/CWA/CWA17553_2020.pdf

Photo: © rukawajung – stock.adobe.com