The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released interim guidance on new mask standards for workplaces called “Workplace Performance and Workplace Performance Plus masks, for workplaces.” The new standards recommend that mask manufacturers comply with the new NIOSH criteria. It will help protect people in the workplace from SARS-CoV-2. The masks cannot be used to replace respirators when needed. The mask criteria and ASTM Standard F3502-21 specify the level of protection for workers when wearing the mask according to the manufacturer’s instruction. ASTM has design and performance criteria, but NIOSH added criteria for leakage and labeling. The following table includes the additional requirements.
|Type of Mask||Filtration||Breathability||Leakage||Labeling|
|Workplace Performance Mask||ASTM F3502 Level 2 at >50%||ASTM F3502 Level 1||Leakage ratio of >5||Meets workplace performance|
|Workplace Performance Plus Mask||ASTM F3502 Level 2 at >80%||ASTM F3502 Level 1||Leakage ratio of
|Meets workplace performance plus|