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ASTM International Approves Face Covering Standard, Releases PPE White Paper

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Today, global standards organization ASTM International approved a new standard for barrier face coverings that will help establish minimum design, performance, labeling, and care requirements for reusable barrier face coverings. The standard was developed by ASTM’s committee on personal protective clothing and equipment (F23). 

The new standard (F3502) is intended to apply to the general public and workers and includes specific requirements for barrier face coverings including design and general construction criteria, particle filtration efficiency levels, sizing and fit testing criteria, labeling instructions, and guidance on cleaning and recommended periods of use. 

“Members of the committee worked together to reach a consensus and address the gap that exists for barrier face coverings that are neither a respirator nor a surgical mask,” said Kathie Morgan, ASTM International president. “The standard helps to benchmark products and will inform consumers when selecting face coverings for their intended use.” 

Numerous ASTM PPE standards have been recognized internationally by the World Health Organization and in the United States by health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

The barrier face covering standard is available at www.astm.org/COVID-19 along with 28 other COVID-related standards as part of ASTM International’s ongoing commitment to provide no-cost public access to important ASTM standards used in the production and testing of personal protective equipment to combat the coronavirus public health emergency.

ASTM International also released a technical white paper entitled “Collaboration to Advance Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Safety, Quality, and Innovation.” This informative paper identifies the current landscape of standards development for PPE, including a summary of a recent workshop on fast-tracking standards development, challenges facing PPE quality and availability, and challenges facing standards development. 

Additionally, the white paper outlines the need for new and modified standards across infection control PPE that seek to address high-priority gaps that ASTM and other SDOs can pursue. 

And finally, the paper introduces a new global collaboration platform on PPE aimed at addressing challenges facing PPE and accelerating standards development. 

The global collaboration platform is envisioned to bring together global PPE stakeholders to bolster communication and outreach, partnership formation, innovation, and much more.

“With over 100 existing cooperation agreements with standards bodies across the world, ASTM International is positioned to exchange knowledge, promote technical alignment, and advance PPE manufacturing and innovation as we face COVID and public health challenges of the future,” concluded Morgan. 

ASTM International will host an introductory webinar on the global platform on March 16, 2021. The webinar will include remarks from ASTM President Kathie Morgan among others. Interested parties can click here to register, or for more information as it becomes available.  

To access the technical white paper, click here.


Media Inquiries:
Dan Bergels, tel +1.610.832.9602; dbergels@astm.org   

Release #11187

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Committee: 
F23