Face masks are back in the Danish streets. Unfortunately, not all washable face masks can be fully trusted when it comes to quality, function, and safety. Although a Danish standard exists that ensures exactly this, currently no cloth face mask on the Danish market has been approved according to that Danish standard.
We started work on the standard because no requirements existed in that area and to allow consumers who seek an alternative to medical disposable face masks to choose washable face masks which have been tested and fulfill requirements in terms of quality, function, and safety. We see this as important and hope that manufacturers will make sure that their face masks are tested according to the standard so that they are in line with the recommendations of the Danish Health Authority, says Jens Heiede, standardization director at Danish Standards. He continues:
We know that some face masks, if tested, would live up to the standard because they are approved under the medical devices directive or the personal protective equipment directive. But consumers cannot know that because there is no DS label on the package.
The Danish Health Authority recommends that Danish citizens wear a CE-marked disposable face mask or a cloth face mask with a documented high degree of filtration, which has been tested and approved according to the Danish standard. Since currently no cloth face masks on the Danish market have been approved according to the Danish standard, the Danish Health Authority recommends that manufacturers have their products tested.
Until now, it may not have been very attractive to produce face masks according to the standard due to the lack of requirements for face masks. We hope that the new requirements for the use of face masks together with the request from the Danish Health Authority, that producers of cloth face masks get their products tested and approved according to the Danish standard, will make it more attractive to produce face masks that comply with the standard. That would make it easier for consumers to choose a safe and well-functioning face mask, says Jens Heiede.
A text printed on the packaging of face masks that comply with the requirements will inform the consumer that the masks comply with the Danish standard, DS 3000:2021. The text on the packaging will also provide information about the degree of filtration. This, together with other initiatives, should help ensure a more transparent market.
The standard is made available free of charge in electronic pdf-format and can be found here: https://webshop.ds.dk/da-dk/s%c3%b8gning/13-340-20-hovedbeskyttelsesudstyr/ds-30002021
An addendum to the standard has been produced to accommodate manufacturers that produce face masks with a degree of filtration that is higher than the one initially required by the standard: