Coronavirus: Dubai officials reveal 15-point checklist on face mask safety

Quality control officers check for mask's effectiveness to protect against Covid-19

Cloth face masks on sale across Dubai must conform to 15 checks before going on sale, Dubai Municipality said.

Quality control officers began checking products at the start of August, and are looking out for a mask’s effectiveness to protect against Covid-19.

Criteria include durability, air permeability and the safety of materials used. Tests are completed at the municipality’s Dubai Central Laboratory in Karama.

Amin Ahmed Amin, laboratory director, said the standards were prepared based on best practices in South Korea, Thailand, China and France.

A Dubai Municipality researcher tests facemasks at the Dubai Central Laboratory. Courtesy: DM
A Dubai Municipality researcher tests facemasks at the Dubai Central Laboratory. Courtesy: DM

“The specification contains explanatory instructions for manufacturing and testing methods based on the latest international standards for the quality, safety and efficiency of textiles used to manufacture these masks.”

Other safety tests include checking the pH of materials, to determine the potential presence of heavy metals and formaldehyde, and checking a mask’s ease of breathing.

They also check for the efficiency of bacteria resistance in masks made from treated fibre, test the effect of washing more than once and examine the absorbency property of the fabric.

In June, the World Health Organisation updated its advice on the use of fabric face masks, supporting their use in places where coronavirus was widespread and physical distancing difficult.

Face coverings to protect against Covid-19 became compulsory across the UAE in April as health authorities aimed to reduce the spread of new infections.

The UAE has reported 64,312 cases of Covid-19 since January. Of these, 57,694 have recovered and 364 patients died.

Updated: August 17, 2020 07:25 PM


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