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France defines specific requirements for Face Covering masks with window

SafeGuardSPersonal and Protective EquipmentSeptember 29, 2020

On July 22, the French government published an update of the Cross Ministries Note to include specific requirements for masks with a clear window.

Since the early beginnings of mask development as a new accessory of daily life, an issue has been raised as this face covering hides our mouth and lips from other people.

More than hiding facial expression and smiles, hiding the mouth raises the issue of lip reading for the deaf or hearing-impaired, isolating them more than before.

Children and adults are also very sensitive to smiles.

The French authorities have updated their requirements for "Community masks" ("Grand Public") including the option to include a clear window, but maintaining breathability and filtration performance when a piece of transparent plastic takes the place of textile fabrics.

The French Cross Ministries Note has been updated on 2020 July, 22nd with specific requirements for masks with clear window:

  • The impermeable material must not exceed 50% of the mask surface
  • The impermeable material must not exceed 50% of an 8cm diameter circle. The center of the circle is the midpoint between the nose and mouth of the wearer
  • The permeable material must make up at least 50% of the mask surface and must have an air permeability greater than or equal to 300 L/m2/s
  • The interface between the permeable material and the impermeable material must not leak
  • The impermeable material should not be pierced, to avoid leaks
  • Filtration efficiency at 3µm for the permeable material shall be the same as for "Grand Public" masks defined in previous versions of Cross Ministries Note (Annex I):
    90% for Cat 1 and 70% for Cat. 2 according to DGA test method
  • To avoid leakage along the edges of the mask, it must allow a fit on the face that includes the nose and chin and the adjustment at the mouth must not create a retention zone that can accumulate carbon dioxide
  • Washable window masks must be able to be cleaned as other kinds of washable masks except for ironing (Annex I)

Available in French only, the Last version of the Cross Ministries Note can be found here.


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