The entire Fashion and Luxury sector has been solicited by the state to supply protective masks
Today, all resources in terms of mask manufacturing and supply are mobilized to meet the needs of health services (hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses, patient transport, nursing homes..). Other sectors are identified as nevertheless needing masks and protection that meet the same obligations or have different levels of protection (food industry, energy, transport of goods, waste treatment, transport and water supply…).
The competitiveness clusters TECHTERA and EuraMaterials, and the IFTH have been asked to assess existing and/or innovative solutions likely to be used in the fight against COVID-19 in addition to “traditional” masks (Surgical, FFP2, FFP3).
Several possibilities are considered:
1/ “Traditional” products/masks: surgical products/ masks complying with standard EN 14683 – protecting against the transmission of droplets and standardised/certified DMFFP in accordance with standard EN 149 – anti-aerosols – also standardised/certified as PPE under strict conditions of compliance with specification levels and standards (for both products and manufacturing conditions).
The idea here is to identify the stocks and production capacities still available in terms of materials, products and constituent materials (spun and melt nonwovens…) as well as packaging on the French territory.
2/ Innovative products :
- Fabric-based masks as used in other sectors or which may have been used in other circumstances.
- Innovative but simple and quick to implement solutions, by associating fabrics/meshes with non-wovens to ensure a level of protection that could be tested and measured very quickly in the DGA laboratories (e.g. barrier effect but breathable fabrics alone or with available spun fabrics…). Complexes to be imagined according to what we know about the performance and uses of these materials.
- Other ideas or already developed products
3/ Filters based on cellulose fibres or other materials – e.g. based on paper industry, ceramics, films or solutions from the chemical industry – for refills of non-disposable filter masks or for component materials.
4/ In the longer term, work on innovative solutions with lower TRL level that have yet to be tested .
Along with the competitiveness clusters, the services of the DGA are also mobilised and will quickly carry out the characterization and performance tests of textiles or textile complexes that will be proposed.
At the same time, the European Commission published a recommendation on March 17th 2020 reminding us of the evaluation procedures for protective masks.
In these complex times, it is important not to put products on the market that could endanger the users by leading them to believe that they are protected. As with all PPE, the person who places a product on the market is liable.