CIT Expertise Helps to Define NSAI Standards for Barrier Masks
Published on: Wednesday, 20 May 2020
The NSAI standard for Barrier Masks has been published and provides important and useful information for manufacturers and consumers.
In response to a request from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and in the light of many Irish manufacturing companies trying to change their production lines, NSAI has developed this Specification Written in Fast Track (SWiFT) to address an urgent need for a consensus-based specification for non-medical and non-PPE masks (barrier masks) for the general public. Used in conjunction with relevant public health advice, these barrier masks may contribute to the prevention of the spreading viral (e.g. COVID-19) infections.
Geraldine Larkin, CEO NSAI, facilitated work on the standardisation project committing as much NSAI resources as necessary to meet the very tight development timeline. According to Ms Larkin: “Normally such work takes from 6 weeks to 3 months. This specification was developed within 10 days using existing specifications from our colleagues in France (AFNOR), Belgium (NBN) and Spain (UNE) and considerable commitment of all parties listed in the acknowledgements. Those involved in the project came from entities from both the private and public sectors, constituting a model case of public-private collaboration. I commend all of those who gave so generously of their time to the project.”
Cork Institute of Technology staff, Dr Niall Smith (Head of Research, CIT), Prof. Roy Sleator, Department of Biological Sciences and Centre for Research in Advanced Therapeutic Engineering (CREATE), Dr Steven Darby, Centre for Advanced Photonics & Process Analysis (CAPPA), and Alan Giltinan, CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory contributed as experts in the development of the document.
Commenting on the publication, Dr Niall Smith said: “It is gratifying to see members of the CIT research community playing a thought-leading role during the Covid-19 emergency. Further developments in the manufacture and use of masks can be anticipated as we gain a better understanding of the transmission pathways for the virus.”