On July 22, 2020, the French Government updated its Cross Ministries Note relating to ‘community masks’ to include specific requirements for face masks with a clear window.
According to the update, masks with a clear window must conform to the following criteria:
- Impermeable material must not exceed 50% of the mask surface
- Impermeable material must not exceed 50% of an 8cm diameter circle. The center of the circle is the midpoint between the nose and mouth of the wearer
- Permeable material must make up at least 50% of the mask surface and must have an air permeability greater than or equal to 300 L/m2/s
- Interface between the permeable material and the impermeable material must not leak
- Impermeable material should not be pierced, to avoid leaks
- Filtration efficiency at 3µm for the permeable material shall be the same as for other ‘general public’ masks defined in previous versions of the Cross Ministries Note (Annex I): 90% for Cat 1 and 70% for Cat. 2 according to DGA test method
- To avoid leakage along the edges of the mask, it must allow a fit on the face that includes the nose and chin and the adjustment at the mouth must not create a retention zone that can accumulate carbon dioxide
- Washable window masks must be able to be cleaned as other kinds of washable masks except for ironing (Annex I)
‘Community masks’ are face masks used by the general public in daily life. They do not meet the standards necessary for medical use.
The latest update ensures face masks with a clear window maintain the required standards for breathability and filtration.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant many of us are now wearing face masks regularly in our daily lives. One issue associated with this is that people cannot see the mouth and lips of the speaker. This can create problems for lip readers.
It also hides facial expressions, which can be a major problem for both adults and children, who often need the reassurance of seeing a smile.
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