Face coverings are now required or recommended in many areas. But quality and performance vary widely. And there is little guidance for manufacturing or selecting face coverings for general use.
In response to this situation, an ad-hoc group of industry stakeholders convened to provide some much-needed guidance. This guidance is entirely voluntary and for non-medical face coverings intended for use by adults. Surgical masks, respirators, and other medical personal protective equipment (PPE) are not addressed in the face covering guidance; these items are regulated by separate standards and requirements.
The ad hoc group, including experts in textiles, manufacturing, filtration, safety, and testing, met throughout April and May 2020 to develop a draft document. That document was then submitted to AATCC for ballot and eventual publication.
The draft guidance is currently being balloted as an AATCC monograph, with results expected by early July. In the meantime, the draft is publicly available for use and comment.
AATCC MXXX-2020 Guidance and Considerations for General Purpose Textile Face Coverings: Adult
Considerations included in the draft are intended to help manufacturers more efficiently design and produce face coverings for general purpose (non-medical) use. It may also serve as a useful resource for those sourcing face coverings for general use. This document contains voluntary guidance and practical options for:
• Regulatory Considerations
• Fit and Sizing Considerations
• Material and Construction Considerations
• Particle Filtration Considerations
• Breathing Resistance Considerations
• Laundering and Service Life Considerations
• Tie and Ear Loop Considerations
• Product Labelling and Marking Considerations
To submit comments or questions, contact Diana Wyman, AATCC Executive Vice President, or any of the task group members listed on the cover sheet of the draft monograph.
About AATCC: AATCC is the world’s leading not-for-profit association serving textile professionals since 1921. AATCC, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA, provides test method development, quality control materials, and professional networking for members in about 50 countries throughout the world.