Given frequently changing mandates, business practices, and local COVID-19 transmission and vaccination rates, masks will likely remain useful—if not required—for some time. Fortunately, in contrast with early on in the pandemic, these days you have many high-quality options to choose from. Some reusable fabric masks contain high filtration efficiency that can provide a good barrier for the wearer against droplets, and at the same time let the wearer feel comfortable.
As popularity gains, many countries or regions have begun to develop regulations, standards, and guidelines to ensure their proficiency.
As a fabric mask is directly in contact with the skin for potentially long periods of time, relevant restricted substance and biocompatibility testing are highly encouraged. Also, the ear loops have to be securely attached to a reusable mask for the duration of its expected lifetime.
Of all the specifications, ‘barrier performance’ is the most crucial when it comes to reusable fabric masks. Most locations have adopted particulate filtration efficiency (PFE) as the major barrier performance, while bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) is specified in Spain and Turkey.
SGS offers testing and consultation services for interested parties on fabric masks to test if the product performance satisfies relevant regional specifications and requirements, and shares information on export/import procedures.