SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification,
testing and certification company, has today launched the SGS Independently
Checked Mark (IC Mark) for reusable fabric masks.
The new IC Mark tests and verifies products utilizing
key performance attributes from the recently published industry consensus
standard, ASTM F3502 Standard Specification for Barrier Face Coverings.
Its use will provide consumers across North America with
at-a-glance assurance that products satisfy safety and performance claims, and
meet regulatory standards. The IC Mark gives manufacturers and retailers greater
ability to demonstrate their focus on quality and performance, to create and
supply products that meet or exceed the minimum legal requirements.
“Consumers need reassurance from manufacturers and
retailers that the reusable fabric masks they are using are performing as
intended”, says Matthew McGarrity, Senior PPE Technical Manager for SGS North
America. He adds, “They also need to know important criteria such as how many
laundering cycles their masks can go through until they are no longer of use.”
SGS North America and other industry experts helped
draft the ASTM F3502 Standard Specification for Barrier Face Coverings which
includes criteria such as minimum design, performance, and care/use
SGS then worked with leading experts in textiles,
filtration and restricted substances to draft various domestic and mask/face
covering guidelines. The approved IC Mark can test for breathability, particle
filtration efficiency, labeling, strap attachment strength, service life
claims, restricted substances and flammability.
Samples are drawn at random and sent to one of SGS’s
global network of independent laboratories to be tested. Test results are
published online, with each IC Mark awarded including a QR code, to be
displayed on the packaging, which consumers can scan from their cell phones to
get instant access to the test results.
Consumers can find a brief description of the product
with an image, the date and scope of the test, the test criteria and results,
plus the approval number. It also provides details of
the manufacturer and any applicable retailers.
SGS Medical PPE Services
From public transport to intensive care units,
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has never been more important. Protecting
people from COVID-19 is the number one priority for individuals, business,
organizations and governments.
As more individuals
turn to reusable face masks, most often ‘do-it-yourself’ (DIY) made from
fabric, countries have begun to develop regulations, standards and guidelines
to ensure their proficiency.
Our global network of PPE experts and accredited
laboratories can ensure the effectiveness and compliance of face masks and PPE
products with testing and certification requirements, help with technical files
and coordinate with Notified Bodies for EC type examinations.
Senior PPE Technical Manager
SGS North America CRS
SGS is the
world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company.
SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more
than 89,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and
laboratories around the world.