Standardization of community face coverings: Results of the DIN enquiry

Colorful fabric masks hanging on a washing line © -

Should community face coverings be standardized?

An enquiry conducted by DIN among the relevant standards committees revealed that the majority of the standards committees and working groups contacted reject standardization of face coverings. None of the standards committees offered to take the lead in the potential standardization project.

Should CWA 17553 be submitted to the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) as a proposal for a standard, DIN will set up a mirror committee to form the national opinion.

KAN also rejects the standardization of community face coverings. Mouth and nose covers do not promise the wearer any protection. They are not a substitute for personal protective equipment (PPE) at workplaces and are not considered to be medical devices. Moreover, in KAN's view, such a standard would only bring the requirements for community face coverings closer to those for surgical masks (medical devices). This is not in the interests of occupational health and safety. In KAN's view, de facto harmonization of community face coverings and surgical masks is not desirable.