On May 11, ASTM International conducted a technical webinar, “Barrier Face Coverings: A Detailed Comparison of Standards In Support of Public Health.” The webinar was held in partnership with the International Finance Corporation and the Viet Nam Standards and Quality Institute, a subsidiary of Viet Nam’s Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality.
Jeffrey Stull, president of International Personnel Protection, Inc., and an ASTM expert on personal protective equipment (PPE), presented on the two global standards for barrier face coverings recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Stull explained how ASTM’s specification for barrier face coverings (F3502) and the “European Agreement CWA 17553 for Community Face Coverings – Guide to minimum requirements, testing methods and use,” related to the scheme of mask design and performance and evaluation attributes. This would allow complying face barriers to be used during a pandemic or to mitigate other aerosol-based disease transmission. Stull also reviewed the limitations and flexibility of each standard and offered recommendations for establishing additional requirements relevant to the Vietnamese market.
Participants in the ASTM webinar also heard from Lê Đức Thiện, vice director of the Occupational Safety Center of the Vietnam National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (VNNIOSH), who has served with the Institute as a researcher and vice director for more than thirty years. Vice director Lê Đức Thiện shared his perspectives on a topic of growing concern, the sustainability impacts of PPE.
According to ASTM vice president for global cooperation Teresa Cendrowska, “ASTM International is pleased to share our technical knowledge of barrier face coverings with Viet Nam’s public health officials and manufacturers, and to learn about their PPE-related challenges and needs so that we can be better prepared for future global pandemics such as COVID and its variants.”
Over 80 participants from seven Southeastern Asian nations attended the webinar, representing regulators, laboratories, national standards bodies, industry, and academia. For more information on ASTM International’s global outreach programs, contact Teresa Cendrowska (firstname.lastname@example.org). For information regarding ASTM International’s work on PPE, visit the PPE Collaboration website.
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