31 Mar 2020 Protective masks: download our reference document for free!
AFNOR has taken the initiative of drawing on the collective wisdom of leading experts to produce a reference document proposing the requirements that should be satisfied when making new protective masks. Version 1.0 of the document, entitled AFNOR Spec – Barrier masks, can be downloaded free of charge.
The shortage of FFP2 and surgical masks has fueled an increase in patterns and tutorials for making protective masks. Faced with the varying and sometimes dubious quality of the scores of designs and tips available, AFNOR has taken the initiative of drawing on the collective wisdom of leading experts to produce a reference document proposing the requirements that should be satisfied when making new masks. Version 1.0 of the document, entitled AFNOR Spec – Barrier masks, can be downloaded free of charge.
A document for manufacturers and the public
The requirements for barrier masks are less ambitious than those for FFP2 and surgical masks, which should be reserved to healthcare professionals and other people at risk of exposure. Barrier masks meet a set of criteria endorsed by close to 150 experts and are aimed at providing all healthy people with further protection, in addition to good hygiene practices and social distancing. Textile and plastics companies can use the AFNOR Spec – Barrier masks document to mass-produce masks. The document’s appendix includes a list of laboratories (list to be complemented by the AFNOR website) for companies wishing to test their prototypes before going ahead with mass production. The document is also intended to offer guidance to all those with the necessary materials and craftmanship to make masks by themselves. It contains a number of diagrams, as well as ready-to-use patterns.
Reinforcing good hygiene practices
“This mask does not mean of course that you should stop following good hygiene practices. It provides additional protection for healthy individuals when travelling or working,” explains Rim Chaouy, Head of the Occupational Health & Safety Division at AFNOR and Project Leader. The AFNOR Spec – Barrier masks document also contains a key section with practical recommendations for people who are not used to wearing a mask. It is extremely important to remember that any failure to wear and use a mask correctly can affect significantly its performance.
Helping companies and public services continue or resume business
AFNOR Spec – Barrier masks V1.0 can now be used by any companies or public services wishing to order masks for their employees from a manufacturer. They can refer to the document to determine the requirements that the masks for their employees should satisfy and the appropriate level of protection. It offers a wealth of useful guidance. AFNOR is always highly attentive to feedback, so it will naturally be updated accordingly.