Monadnock Paper Mills

MNW Calls for Ubiquitous Face Mask Standard

ISO9001 Certified

Surgical Face MasksMt. Pocono, PAMarch 15, 2013 - Annual scares of flu pandemics such as SARS in 2003, Swine flu (H1N1) in 2009 and more recently bird flu show that viruses know no geographical boundaries and can quickly spread. Governments on each continent are aware of the risks and have developed containment measures.  

One effective technique for containing the spread of these viruses is the wide use of surgical face masks.  However, there are no internationally agreed upon standards for face masks and respirators. Their performance standards are strictly regulated and vary from one country to the next essentially creating trade barriers.  For instance, the European Standards (EN) are different than the standards for North America and rest of the world that are set by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).   All of these standards essentially measure the same properties using similar tests such as Bacteria Filtration Efficiency (BFE).  This unfortunately results in mask manufacturers being challenged to meet different standards to sell in volume into different markets.

The US administration recently stated the objective of removing trade barriers with Europe and reducing the costs of doing business by 10%.  Achieving these goals entails creating one ubiquitous global standard for face masks – a task that will require a global commitment and a significant investment of time.

Monadnock Non-Wovens already provides a solution that qualifies in every market irrespective of standards and test methodology.  MNW provide manufactures media grades that are tailored to meet or exceed the different levels of performance.  A specific media is suitable for a global application for each of the standard levels or requirements worldwide.  This opens the door for convertors to begin exploiting the global opportunity of marketing respirators or face masks to help nations contain the spread of flu like illness.

Monadnock Non-Wovens LLC manufactures a range of slit nonwoven media that is treated and ready for final conversion or untreated ready for further specialist surface activation such as low temperature plasma treatments to meet even more exhaustive blood penetration tests such as the ASTM F1867. The virgin polypropylene roll media is prepared using a uniquely validated resin to a strict standard of conformity. The available range of basis weights are from 10-36 opsy covering each of the various levels of filtration.