ASTM F3502-21 Standard Specification for Barrier Face Coverings

ASTM F3502-21 was primarily established in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic This standard specifies minimum desi gn, performance, and testing requirements for barrier face coverings. The effectiveness of the barrier face-covering depends on how well particles are blocked by the barrier face covering, how well it minimizes the amount of leakage that may occur around the perimeter of the barrier face covering, and how comfortable it is for individuals (breathability).... Read More

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    ASTM F3502-21 ensures that the barrier face coverings meet the stated requirements by providing a means to reduce the number of expelled droplets and aerosols from the wearer’s nose and mouth into the air, and reduce the amount of inhaled particulate matter by the wearer.

    This specification deals with all barrier face coverings intended for either single-use or multiple uses (reusable). This specification does not deal with requirements for medical face masks, which are covered in Specification F2100.

    Overview of the Specification: 

    ASTM F3502-21 lays out minimum design, performance (testing), labeling, user instruction, reporting and classification, and conformity assessment requirements for barrier face coverings.

    Design criteria 

    Design criteria establish the minimum areas of face coverage over the wearer’s nose and mouth. Manufacturers are required to perform a design analysis to assess leakage of exhaled air from the barrier face covering. 

    Performance requirement and Test Method

    Performance requirement defines minimum barrier face-covering filtration efficiency and airflow resistance performance properties. The performance of the mask is tested by sub-micron particle filtration efficiency and airflow resistance. 

    Sub-micron particulate filtration efficiency is the ability of the face-covering to capture droplets containing viruses and bacteria. Airflow resistance represents breathability. Barrier face coverings must be comfortable enough for individuals to be willing to wear them for long periods

    Conformance to this standard requires that an accredited laboratory conduct sub-micron particulate filtration efficiency and airflow resistance tests.

    Reporting and Classification

    A test report should be prepared that includes information such as the manufacturer’s name, the product name or model number, the test laboratory name and accreditation credentials; product design analysis, average bacterial filtration efficiency and qualitative leakage assessment testing. 

    Labelling requirements 

    Each barrier face covering should have a label with the manufacturer’s name, identification, designation, or logo; the barrier face-covering model or style, and the following statement: “MEETS ASTM F3502.”

    User Instructions

    A set of user instructions should be provided with the package containing the following information: The manufacturer, product, and compliance. Instructions on how to select the correct size. If the product is reusable then inspection, use, and care instructions, including laundering or cleaning and the service life. cautions and limitations. Storage conditions and the shelf life. Disposal of the barrier. 

    Specimen Size 

    Ten test specimens should be tested. Additional ten specimens will be tested if the barrier face coverings are reusable. Specimens should include the entire product or at least the portion that covers the nose and mouth.

    Specimens should be preconditioned at relative humidity and temperature for 1 hour. After conditioning, the filters should be sealed in an airtight, non-hygroscopic container and tested within 10 hours. 


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