The certified textile masks fulfil all the protection requirements, and the models equivalent to the KN95 leave no doubt as to their capacity. “We must separate the untested textile masks from the certified ones, and take into account the type of protection that each model provides”, explains the president of ATP, Mário Jorge Machado, now that some countries are demanding that citizens wear single-use surgical masks (FFP1), or FFP2 masks, which block 90% of particles.
The certification of textile masks leaves no doubt about its protection ability, being unquestionable that professional grade textile masks are an effective protection against the spread of the Covid-19 virus, reinforces the president of the Portuguese Textile and Clothing Association (ATP).
An opinion shared by the World Health Organization (WHO) and by the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), which maintain confidence in the use of social masks, as long as they are properly certified. There are no changes in the way the transmission occurs, so there is no need to change the recommendations at this time, says the WHO.
Although France, Austria and Germany have determined that in spaces with high concentration of people the use of surgical masks or FFP2 with a minimum of 90% filtration is required, both health authorities and the most diverse specialists are certain that, for now, there is no evidence to justify these changes.
In this context, there is no doubt that “it is incomprehensible and unacceptable” that these countries have discouraged the use of textile masks. “Professional social masks are at the level of what is called respirators, as the laboratory tests, carried out by CITEVE, prove”, said Mário Jorge Machado.
It is due to the expansion of the most contagious Covid-19 variants in the United Kingdom and South Africa that those three countries are taking more restrictive measures, but the WHO clarifies that according to the evidence collected, there are no changes in the way the virus is transmitted. “If anything changes, we will change and update our recommendations accordingly,” explained Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical officer in charge of the Covid-19 crisis.
In addition, fabric masks can also guarantee levels of filtration above 90%. “We must separate the untested textile masks from the certified ones and take into consideration the type of protection that each model foresees”, told T Jornal the president of ATP – Textile and Clothing Association of Portugal, Mário Jorge Machado.