New specification on minimum performance requirements and test methods for community face coverings open for comment
Version 1 of BSI Flex 5555 Community face coverings — Specification is now available to download.
The new specification is designed to help UK manufacturers, testing houses, retailers and consumers to ensure single use and re-usable face coverings are safe and fit for purpose.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are wearing face coverings to reduce the projection of exhaled air and the spread of infection. They are designed to offer protection for those around the wearer, but they can also limit penetration by respiratory droplets from another person into the wearer’s nose and mouth. A face covering can also minimize the amount wearers touch their nose and mouth.
BSI brought together UK stakeholders to create an agreed specification for community face coverings. For speed, they built on an existing document, the CEN WORKSHOP AGREEMENT CWA 17553 (2020) Community face coverings - Guide to minimum requirements, methods of testing and use, and refocussed the document for the UK market.
The new Specification aims to provide:
- minimum performance requirements for manufacturers with regard to filtration and transmission, and use of materials
- general information on single and multi-use face coverings, plus cleaning requirements for multi-use coverings
- a method of test for testing houses, and
- reassurance for retailers and consumers.
The Community Face Coverings - Specification does not cover PPE or medical face coverings, nor does it address DIY coverings or transparent face coverings.