The Icare laboratory evaluates the effectiveness of masks and filter materials.
The Icare laboratory controls and validates the safety of medicines and medical devices (hydroalcoholic gels, surgical sets, dressings, syringes, implants…) used in health centers such as pharmaceutical industries, hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, to ensure their placing on the market in accordance with the regulations in force.
In the context of the current health crisis, the Icare laboratory has developed a fast and reliable test to evaluate the performance of surgical masks and filter masks.
This test, which adapts to the different types of masks (FFP2 and surgical), demonstrates the protection to the projections as well as the protection of the wearer vis-à-vis a contaminated environment.
Filtration efficiency is measured by measuring the penetration of a polydisperse aerosol into the filter media. Six different particle sizes are measured to assess both the protection of the wearer’s immediate environment through the limitation of transmission of infectious agents from the wearer’s nose and mouth (role of a surgical mask), and the protection of the wearer against an environment contaminated by infectious particles (role of a filter mask against FFP2 or FFP3 type particles).
In accordance with NF EN 14683 (2019) Medical Masks – Requirements and Test Method, the 3 µm particle size was selected to assess the environmental protection performance. The expected level is a filtration efficiency greater than or equal to 98%.
In accordance with the standard NF EN 149+A1 (2009) Respirators- Particulate filter half-masks – Requirements, tests, marking, the particle size of 0.3 µm was chosen to assess the protection performance of the wearer. The expected level is a filtration efficiency greater than or equal to 99%.
The test is performed in only 3 days and the simultaneous measurement allows in a single test to measure the effectiveness of protection in both directions.