AMSTERDAM, November 2021 – For a few weeks now, it has been mandatory to wear a face mask in public indoor spaces again. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty about the standards a safe and sustainable mask must meet. Although the Dutch standard appeared a year ago, it is unclear which manufacturers adhere to it. Since last year, it has surprised Piet Holten, owner of Pactics and manufacturer of non-medical mouth and nose masks. “Masks are still offered with bactericidal additives. That sounds nice, but Corona is a virus, not a bacteria.”
The Pactics face masks are responsibly and sustainably produced in Cambodia, and Pactics is certified according to the international standard for corporate social responsibility SA 8000.
Holten notes that many companies that look for safe, comfortable and durable face coverings for their staff lack knowledge about what standards the masks must meet. “We have that knowledge because we have had our products tested and certified by various labs in the US and Europe since the start of the pandemic.”
Pactics masks are extensively tested by laboratories such as Kiwa and certified according to all European and WHO standards. Therefore, they also meet the requirements that Belgian certifier Centexbel and Dutch Standardization Institute NEN set for face masks for public use.
The Pactics face masks are responsibly and sustainably produced in Cambodia, and Pactics is certified according to the international standard for corporate social responsibility SA 8000. Because they can be washed at least 60 times (30 minutes at 60 degrees), they not only have a much lower impact on the environment than the disposable ones but are also 80 to 90 percent cheaper.
After washing once, the filtration is even 98.1%. The standard for a medical face mask is 95%.
House Style or Logo
According to Holten, Pactics’ face masks differ positively from other face masks. They can be supplied as standard in-house style and color with a company logo. They have a flexible nose clip with a sophisticated fit, adjustable ear straps or a closure at the back of the head, ensuring the mask fits a face much better than the commonly used disposable models. The exterior is made of polyester, and the inside is made of cotton. They have a high air permeability which makes breathing easier. The three-layer variant is equipped with a fixed filter with 94.5% filtration. After washing once, the filtration is even 98.1%. The standard for a medical face mask is 95%. The filter retains its effectiveness for at least 60 washes.
Pactics produces its masks in two different models: a casual model for use in public spaces, like shops and public transport and a business model for professionals with contact professions who cannot always keep one and a half meters apart due to work requirements.
The casual model is a two-layer face mask without a filter but with 70% filtration. The air permeability is seven times higher than the standard requires, making breathing easier and making the mask extremely comfortable. Pactics has paid a lot of attention to the fit so that the masks fit well on a person’s face.
The business model consists of three layers with a washable filter. The filtration here is 94.5%, and the air permeability scores four times better than the norm, making this variant more comfortable than other models.
Both models have a reinforced nose bridge so that the masks also fit well on Western noses and spectacle wearers are less bothered by their glasses fogging up.
“For example, there are a number of masks on the market with bactericidal additives. That sounds nice, but Corona is a virus, not a bacteria.”
Holten naturally hopes that companies that are looking for face masks for their staff will end up with Pactics. But even more important is good information. “We alone cannot produce enough for the entire market. But I wish better information became available. There is now a lot of junk for sale, and the environment is overburdened with it. A mouth and nose mask is something that you hang in front of your mouth. You have to think about that carefully. What are you breathing through that cap? Many people have no idea. There is a lot of ignorance. For example, there are a number of masks on the market with bactericidal additives. That sounds nice, but Corona is a virus, not a bacteria. Moreover, only 1% of all bacteria in the world are harmful to humans. You really need a lot of bacteria, so you don’t want to kill them all. Not to mention the question of whether it is justified to inhale bactericidal substances. There are many conflicting reports about that.”