Press Releases

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 instructions.

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.

For further information contact:

Matthew McGarrity

Senior PPE Technical Manager

SGS North America CRS

Email: crs.media@sgs.com

About SGS

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.