New EU common Guideline for “Community mask”
Due to high demand and in shortage of medical and protective face masks during COVID-19 pandemic, WHO promotes Community mask to be used by people not displaying any clinical symptoms of viral or bacterial infection and who do not come into contact with people displaying such symptoms.
Apparently Community mask is a new product that so far has not been regulated on the market by EU/EEA common, but thru local national regulations.
Community mask function is to reduce the spreading of the virus by capturing saliva and other secretions from mouth and nose and it is NOT a medical neither personal protective mask!!
Community mask is also known as community face covering / artisanal mask / fabric mask / comfort mask / hygiene mask / everyday mask / civil mask / DIY (do-it-yourself) mask.
In June 2020 CEN has released a new Guide for producers of Community masks providing requirements for design, materials, test, use and more. Community masks are not subject to a mandatory conformity assessment by notified bodies or laboratories. Their design in accordance with accepted best practices and production quality control remain the producer’s responsibility.
In connection with general use of the Community masks there are some risks for wearer emphasized and that should be kept in mind:
– false sense of protection,
– improper washing and drying may not efficiently remove viruses,
– material reliability and maintenance method cause filtering efficiency slowly decrease.
However, it is quite relief having this common EU “standardization” framework available since product as such, regardless of not being intended to replace medical or protective masks, still impose the risk for wearers if not constructed or used properly in particular concerning breath ability, microbiology, etc.
Lots of details are provided with attached/linked Guideline and if any clarification needed or have questions, feel free to contact us at any time.