Europe does not have separate legal standards for a non-medical mouth mask, other than the usual legal requirements that apply to consumer products. Non-medical mouth masks are a category of mouth masks that we do not know in Europe. However, there are currently guidelines in various Member States for the use of mouth masks by the public, each with its own recommendations. In addition, requirements for who, what, when to wear or not to wear are generally set out in policies of national or regional governments.
The publication of a CEN Workshop Agreement is a first step towards greater clarity within the EU. Participation in this program was only possible for countries that had already developed a national document. Eight countries, including the Netherlands, participated in the development of the document. In the short time that has passed, we have not been able to make an unambiguous decision on all points. For this reason, for example, a wide range of test methods has been included.
It is striking that the majority of the participating countries underline the importance of a minimum requirement for filtration and breathability. In addition to the Netherlands, there are more European countries that do not currently share this view. We see a clear division about this in Europe. Everywhere in Europe applies: The mouth mask does not protect the wearer and is additional to already existing hygiene rules.
It is important to know that the guidelines are voluntary, but that in practice controls are carried out at national level. We also see that in countries where people have been working with minimum requirements for a long time, the consumer is used to selecting the product for this. Companies that operate European can be confronted with this.
It is not yet clear whether and what position the Dutch government will assume with regard to this document. We will of course follow this closely.
The document CWA 17553: 2020 Community Face Coverings is available for free download here >>
Want to know more about the document? Follow our webinar on June 30.
You can register via https://modint.nl/event/cen-workshop-agreement-on-community-face-coverings/
Arnhemse Bovenweg 100
3708 AG ZEIST
3700 AT Zeist
K.v.K. Utrecht 40534321