Face masks come in all different shapes and forms. In our previous post, What makes a good mask, we stressed the importance of test reports and certificates, since masks that do not have them may not be considered safe. Different quality marks and certifications have emerged since the start of the pandemic, but what certifications are there and what do each of them actually mean?
Test reports and certifications
While consumers and organizations have a growing need for effective face protection, they may often have no clear understanding of what to look for. Certifications help those consumers and organizations make the right decisions when buying face masks.
The most important aspects are resistance, comfort, breathability, chemical make-up, and flammability, as well as the masks’ filtration efficiency (FE).
Different countries have different certifications and standards, which use somewhat different methods to assess the quality of the mask. The most important certificate for the Dutch market is the NEN, whereas the United States has ASTM. Both institutes have different assessment methods, though they generally cover similar areas. The most important aspects are resistance, comfort, breathability, chemical make-up, and flammability, as well as the masks’ filtration efficiency (FE). Only masks that score high enough in all areas are given the certificate, along with a transparent report of the testing, objectives, and results. This process provides buyers with quality assurance.
Pactics Facewear was subjected to rigorous testing at Centexbel Laboratory in Belgium, the Kiwa Laboratory in the Netherlands (NEN), and the US to meet several standards. We are proud to have passed the ASTM F3501 testing with a level 1 on filtration and a level 2 on breathability (level 2 is better than level 1). Not many other mask manufacturers have managed to pass this test. We also received the NEN-spec 1-2 community mask certification and are COVID-19 approved by the Centexbel Laboratory in Belgium. Overall, this means our models beat WHO, CDC, EU, and ASTM Standards on breathability and filtration efficiencies. Our customers can confidently purchase our Facewear knowing that they are putting their protection, and the protection of everyone around them, first.
Regardless of where you purchase your face masks, make sure to look out for certifications.
Regardless of where you purchase your face masks, make sure to look out for certifications. Different countries have different certifications and standards, though the major institutes evaluate similar areas in their testing. The right certificate or quality mark ultimately gives you the assurance that you’re buying the right mask, so that you won’t be compromising your safety and that of those around you. Interested in learning more about Facewear? Visit our Facewear Page or contact us today for a chat.