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Understanding ASTM’s New Specification for Barrier Face Coverings

Published In: MDDI Online

When the pandemic started, there were many questions about how to protect ourselves and others. Face masks have been cited in many cases as a first line of defense for those who cannot stay home, and mandates requiring face coverings have been issued in many locations throughout the world. With FDA-approved face masks sometimes in short supply, the general public has turned to various other sources for face coverings. People can be seen using everything from homemade masks, to neck gaiters, to masks made by their favorite clothing companies. As the pandemic evolved and we learned more about the disease and its spread, recommendations changed slightly. The effectiveness of some of these improvised face coverings was questioned, and the need for a standard to help the public determine the effectiveness of these products and to set a minimum requirement for some physical properties became more obvious.


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