In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an ad-hoc group of industry stakeholders convened to provide guidance in manufacturing face coverings for general use, according to a June 9 press release from AATCC. 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The draft guidance is currently being balloted as an AATCC monograph, with results expected by early July.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.
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 Labeling 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.