Standards and Testing

Our non-medical “community” masks provide an extra layer of protection against COVID-19 as recommended by national and international health agencies. They are not FDA approved, not intended for medical use, and not a replacement for social distancing. Community face coverings are intended for use by people not displaying any clinical symptoms of viral or bacterial infection.

The World Health Organization issued guidelines on June 5, 2020 concerning non-medical community masks. The EU also published guidelines (CEN Workshop Agreement, June 2020) for community masks. Our supplier and partner, Pactics, regularly monitors published guidelines and contracts independent test labs to validate results. Below are some highlights from the WHO and EU publications.

World Health Organization European Union National Facewear
Particle Filtration Efficiency(PFE) No minimums provided but references published French standards of > 70% 3.0 micron Minimum > 70% 3.0 micon Meets Standards. 2 layer 72% 3.0 micron (Centexbel lab test); 3 Layer with permanent filter is 90% PFE
Breathability/Air Permeability < 1000 l/(m2.s) – converted from pa < 960 l/(m2.s) Meets standards. 788 l/(m2.s) (Centexbel lab test)
Layers Recommend three; outer layer polyester, inner cotton and a middle hydropholic layer Not specific as to the number of layers but recommends multiple fabrics with acceptable PFE and breathability ratings All models have a polyester exterior and cotton interior.  The 2 layer mask has a filter pocket which can hold a filter to further improve PFE.  New 3 layer adds nonwoven meltblown washable filter
Mask Shape Fits closely over nose, cheeks and chin Fits closely over nose, cheeks and chin Form fitting with middle seam, elastic band, adjustable nose clip and adjustable strap creating air pocket for better breathability
Washing Frequently, 140 degrees F with detergent Frequently, 140 degrees F with detergent, minimum five washings Washable 140 degrees F with detergent, tested up to 60 washes
Wear and tear If fabric layers look noticeably worn out, discard the mask If fabric layers look noticeably worn out, discard the mask Durable and can undergo numerous washings without any noticeable deterioration
Bacterial Filtration Efficiency Not mentioned Not mentioned Both models > 95% 3 micron
Flammability Not Mentioned Not Mentioned Passed as Class 1 under NIOSH standards (SGS lab test)

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