The primary use of medical face masks is to keep infectious agents away from the patient and, in some circumstances, to additionally protect the wearer from splashes of potentially contaminated fluids. Medical face masks may also be intended to be worn by patients and others to reduce the risk of spreading infections, especially in epidemic or pandemic situations.
According to the European requirements standard EN 14683, medical face masks are classified into two types (Type I and Type II) based on bacterial filtration performance, with Type II being further subdivided according to whether or not the mask is liquid resistant. The "R" stands for splash resistance.
Tests for Type I / Type II:
- Bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) according to DIN EN 14683 Annex B.
- Determination of breathability (pressure difference)
according to DIN EN 14683 Annex C
- Microbiological purity (germ load) according to EN ISO 11737-1
Additional test for type IIR:
- Penetration of synthetic blood according to ISO 22609