Ad-hoc group to offer guidance on non-medical face coverings

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Posted June 11, 2020


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – 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 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The draft guidance is currently being balloted as an AATCC monograph, with results expected by early July.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 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.


Source: AATCC

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