Face masks have been a common part of everyday life for about a year now.
As one of the most-recommended defenses against the spread of the global health crisis, masks are required all over the country and world — including in the Disney parks. Now, an official consumer standard for face masks has been developed.
According to Good Housekeeping Institute, the American Society for Testing and Materials has developed a standard that helps consumers make smarter face mask purchases and brands determine that their coverings are effective before selling them.
Up to this point, there has been no standard for face mask effectiveness which makes it a lot harder for consumers to know if a face mask works. Now, brands will be able to apply testing to new face masks to show consumers that their disposable and reusable masks are up to standard.
The new standard, F3502−21 Standard Specification for Barrier Face Coverings, covers mask leakage, filtration, breathability, and labeling. It does not cover any antimicrobial or antiviral claims or respirators and medical face masks.
Standard developer and President of International Personal Protection, Inc. Jeffrey Stull noted that the standard recommends a nonwoven filter either built into a cloth mask or inserted into a pocket. Single-layer cloth face masks are not as protective as those with nonwoven filters. Alternatively, layering a nonwoven disposable mask under a cloth mask can improve effectiveness.
On the leakage front, masks should have a secure fit without air escaping around the edges. Basically, all breath should flow THROUGH the mask, not around. Beyond that, the standards note that masks have a shelf life, and the more wear and tear they have, the less effective they are.
So, how can YOU know if the mask you’re purchasing is up to standard? Look for the wording, “Meets ASTM F3502″ on the product. Keep in mind that the standard is fairly new so it may take some time for brands to test their masks and apply the standard.
Standard developers also noted that they hope to evolve the standard over time as new information becomes available and they want to build a database with approved masks.
We will certainly be keeping an eye on the Disney masks to see if they are tested to fit in this standard. As always, stay tuned to DFB for the latest updates on masks and how they may affect your Disney trip.
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