Swiss update pandemic hygiene mask standards:
This article was originally published in Clinica
The proliferation of hygiene masks of varying quality on the market in Switzerland has prompted national regulatory authority Swissmedic to issue a standard practice reminder. Swiss federal health office (BAG) policy is to recommend that the public use hygiene masks in cases of pandemics, Swissmedic told a 30-strong gathering of industry representatives in Bern. Type II and IIR hygiene masks (all of which are subject to CE-marking under the EU's MDD) are its preferred models. They meet the criterion of 98% bacterial filter efficiency (BFE). Manufacturers must conform to EN 14683, said the authority, adding that products already in circulation that do not meet these standards will not be withdrawn, but should be used indoors only. It is difficult to estimate the number of brands available, as Switzerland has "free market" for such products, said Swissmedic.