BÖNNIGHEIM, Germany — December 3, 2020 — Testing and research partner Hohenstein now tests according to the first European guideline for community masks, the CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) 17553:2020. Hohenstein had already taken a big step towards safety and functionality with the introduction of its quality label for Tested Community Masks. The new “Community Face Coverings-Guide to minimum requirements, methods of testing and use” sets minimum requirements for design, performance evaluation, labeling and packaging of both reusable and disposable masks.
Community masks are important in containing the spread of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. However, to fulfill their function, they must meet certain requirements. The objective of the standard is to support manufacturers who have switched production to non-medical, everyday masks regarding the requirements for such masks, which must also meet the legal requirements for textiles and satisfy certain functional demands.
Uniform product quality and durability standards across Europe are particularly important for containing the spread across borders. Clear product information helps consumers rely on the safety of community masks. The guideline can also boost marketing for suppliers in international competition.
Standardized test procedures at Hohenstein provide information as to whether everyday masks have sufficient breathability and filter performance. Other quality parameters include washability, fit and safety from harmful substances. Hohenstein also checks compliance with legal requirements and proper labelling and use instructions.
Manufacturers of everyday masks can also earn the Hohenstein Quality Label for Tested Community Masks by proving product performance and certifying to STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®.