What are Community and Barrier masks, or masks for members of the public?

This kind of mask is designed to be used to comply with general safety and social distancing measures. They are aimed at members of the public, and in particular, anybody who is healthy and asymptomatic. It is not a medical device in accordance with Regulation EU/2017/745, or an item of Personal Protective Equipment in accordance with Regulation EU/2016/425.

What performance requirements does this Community or Barrier mask meet?

There are a number of reference documents specifying the parameters and performance criteria to confirm the quality of Community or Barrier masks.

HeX uses and relies on the following 3 documents:
France : AFNOR SPEC S76-001
Belgium : NBN_DTD_S_65-001_2020
EU : CWA17553_2020

The main parameters that these texts ask a testing laboratory to check involve:

  1. A visual inspection (conditioning, overall quality, writing on the packaging etc.)
  2. Resistance test on the straps
  3. Penetration test on the single layer or multi-layer composite
  4. Breathability test
  1. A visual inspection (conditioning, overall quality, writing on the packaging etc.)
  2. Resistance test on the straps
  3. Penetration test on the single layer or multi-layer composite
  4. Breathability test

Are there different levels of performance for Community / Barrier masks?

Only the French AFNOR SPEC S76 document distinguishes between two levels of performance:

–  70% filtration capacity, corresponding to UNS2 (Non-medical mask 2)
–  90% filtration capacity, corresponding to UNS1 (Non-medical mask 1)
For the Belgian and European framework documents, the filtration capacity must be at least 70%.

Does HeX carry out the 4 types of test described above?

Yes, HeX carries out all the tests described above.

How can a mask’s resistance be checked after cleaning cycles?

The framework documents specify cleaning conditions, including in particular washing and drying cycles.

How can I, as a client, use the results of these tests?

HeX Group will provide logos that you can use to highlight and demonstrate compliance with the expected requirements.

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Reportage : RTBF en visite au laboratoire HeX Group de Gosselies fait le point sur les tests d’efficacité des masques community, masques barrière ou masques dits grand public.

Le test de la flamme est-il fiable ?
Quelle est la différence entre respirabilité du masque community / barrière et efficacité du masque ?
Reportage RTBF