GB 2626-2019 was originally included in China’s No. 17 announcement of approved national standards in 2019. It was scheduled to come into effect on July 1, 2020, but, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has now been delayed until July 1, 2021. The Standardization Administration of China (SAC) made this announcement on June 11, 2020, in 2020 No. 29 Public Notice.
With the transition period now extended until July 2021, manufacturers and suppliers are free to continue selecting either the previous standard, GB 2626-2006, or GB 2626-2019 as their executive standard.
GB 2626-2019 applies to non-powered air-purifying respirators, which provide some form of respirator protection against particles. It does not apply to respirators for:
- Protection against harmful gases and vapor
- Use in hypoxic environments, underwater operations, escape and firefighting
The standard contains a number of provisions, including general requirements, appearance checks, filter efficiency, inward leakage performance, respiratory resistance, exhalation valve, dead space, visual field, head harness, connection and connecting parts, lens, air tightness, flammability, cleaning and disinfecting, practical performance, information provided by manufacturer, and packaging.
Classification in the new standard is based on the facepiece and filter element. The facepiece can be either disposable, replaceable half, or full. The filter element is based on, firstly, the type of particle it will filter:
- Category KN – only used to filter non-oily particles
- Category KP – filter both oily and non-oily particles
The second element is the efficiency – 90, 95 or 100. This means the following respirators are categorized in the standard according to type, what it filters, and efficiency:
- Disposable facepiece - KN90, KN95, KN100
- Replaceable half facepiece - KN90, KN95, KN100
- Full facepiece - KN95, KN100
- Disposable facepiece - KP90, KP95, KP100
- Replaceable half facepiece - KP90, KP95, KP100
- Full facepiece - KP95, KP100
Under the new mandatory standard, the filter element of a disposable facepiece or replaceable facepiece must be marked for its class in accordance with the code specified in this standard. For example, the filter element of KP100 must be marked as GB 2626-2019 KP100.
GB 2626-2019 contains several technical differences to GB 2626-2006 and stakeholders are advised to now check and begin/complete transition to the new standard.
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