World Health Day

It remains a global health priority to protect people from COVID-19. Yet this effort must not overshadow the need for a universal health care system that provides basic health care to everyone, everywhere.

The theme of World Health Day for this year is “Our Planet, Our Health,” which seeks to underscore the need for urgent action to protect us and our environment. Health is also a prerequisite for economic growth, as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations.

In the midst of the ongoing pandemic and pollution on the planet, diseases such as cancer, influenza, and heart illnesses are rapidly increasing. Even if you have been vaccinated, you should still wear a mask.

Covid-19 and other infectious diseases cannot be completely prevented by using a mask alone, however masks offer some protection to ourselves and are also designed to protect the people around us should we become infected with the Covid-19 unknowingly.

However, do you know that the specifications of quality surgical masks and respirators can affect the effectiveness of protection? Due to the high demand for masks and respirators, questions have been raised about their quality and efficiency.

Edmund Yap, our regional operational and technical manager, explains how we test not just finished products, but also the raw materials that go into them to ensure that manufacturers comply with stringent safety requirements.

Some of the common requirements for different types of masks are summarised as below.

USA Europe
Face Coverings Medical Face Masks Medical Face Masks
ASTM F3502 ASTM F2100 EN 14683
Level 1 Level 2 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Type I Type II Type IIR
Bacterial Filtration
Efficiency (BFE)
Not Required ≥ 95 % ≥ 98 % ≥ 95 % ≥ 98 %
Particulate Filtration
Efficiency (PFE)
≥ 20 % ≥ 50 % ≥ 95 % ≥ 98 % Not Required
Synthetic Blood
Not Required Pass
(80 mmHg)
(120 mmHg)
(160 mmHg)
Not Required Pass
(≥ 16.0 kPa)
Not Required < 5.0 H2O/cm2 < 6.0 H2O/cm2 < 40 Pa/cm2 < 60 Pa/cm2

GICG offers a comprehensive set of services for different grades of masks and respirators to ensure their continued compliance to the most current international/national standards and specifications. Our laboratories are fully accredited and equipped to test face coverings and medical face masks according to ASTM F3502, ASTM F2100, EN 14683, and NIOSH (42 CFR Part 84).

Contact us or learn more about our Face Mask & Respirator Testing services here:

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