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UK: The BSI updates the community face coverings specification (BSI Flex 5555 v2.0)

MARCH 2021 - SOFTLINES

In March 2021, the British Standards Institution (BSI) published an updated version of the specification for the community face coverings BSI Flex 5555 v2.0:2021-031.

The standard was developed to provide the minimum performance requirements and test methods for community face coverings to ensure that single-use and reusable face coverings are safe for the users and fit for the purpose.

The first version ‘BSI Flex 5555 v1.0:2021-01’ was originally published in January 2021. After getting a wide range of expert comments, the specification has been updated. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been wearing face coverings to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus so as to control the spread of infection. Therefore, there is a need to define the performance requirements for community face coverings.

Following are the key changes in this updated version of the BSI Flex:

  • It clarified that “community face coverings” is neither a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) nor a medical face mask.
  • It provided cleaning guideline in details, i.e. 40°C minimum for home laundering and 70°C for communal laundry.
  • Adjustment requirements have been added for fitting properties.
  • The requirements for fastening strength have been changed to 10 N for single-use face coverings and 50 N for reusable face coverings.
  • The requirement of the differential pressure has been changed to ≤60 Pa/cm2, earlier identified as ≤70 Pa/cm2.
  • Enhanced information on labelling has been added.
  • A new section for environmental considerations has been added for disposal and sustainability.
  • An informative annex has been added for children’s face coverings.
The standard is available for download free of cost from BSI’s portal. 

 

[1]  Version 2 of BSI Flex 5555

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