The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a broader use of masks by both professionals and the general population. This resulted in a severe worldwide shortage of devices and the need to increase import and activate production of safe and effective surgical masks at the national level. In order to support the demand for testing surgical masks in the Italian context, Universities provided their contribution by setting up laboratories for testing mask performance before releasing products into the national market. This paper reports the effort of seven Italian university laboratories who set up facilities for testing face masks during the emergency period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Measurement set-ups were built, adapting the methods specified in the EN 14683:2019+AC. Data on differential pressure (DP) and bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) of 120 masks, including different materials and designs, were collected over three months. More than 60% of the masks satisfied requirements for DP and BFE set by the standard. Masks made of nonwoven polypropylene with at least three layers (spunbonded–meltblown–spunbonded) showed the best results, ensuring both good breathability and high filtration efficiency. The majority of the masks created with alternative materials and designs did not comply with both standard requirements, resulting in suitability only as community masks. The effective partnering between universities and industries to meet a public need in an emergency context represented a fruitful example of the so-called university “third-mission”.

Testing surgical face masks in an emergency context: The experience of italian laboratories during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis / Tessarolo, F.; Nollo, G.; Maniglio, D.; Rigoni, M.; Benedetti, L.; Helfer, F.; Corradi, I.; Rovati, L.; Ferrari, A.; Piccini, M.; Accorsi, L.; Veronesi, E.; Cuoghi, A.; Baglio, S.; Tuccitto, N.; Stefani, S.; Stracquadanio, S.; Caraci, F.; Terrasi, A.; Tricomi, A.; Musumeci, M.; Miraglia, A.; Cuttone, G.; Cosentino, S.; Muscas, C.; Vitali, L. A.; Petrelli, D.; Angrisani, L.; Colicchio, R.; D'Anna, A.; Iavicoli, I.; De Falco, G.; Di Natale, F.; Di Maio, E.; Salvatore, P.; Quaglia, F.; Mingoia, M.; Castellini, P.; Chiariotti, P.; Simoni, S.; Montalto, L.; Baleani, A.; Paone, N.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH. - ISSN 1660-4601. - 18:4(2021), pp. 1-19. [10.3390/ijerph18041462]

Testing surgical face masks in an emergency context: The experience of italian laboratories during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis

Rovati L.;Ferrari A.;Piccini M.;Accorsi L.;Veronesi E.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a broader use of masks by both professionals and the general population. This resulted in a severe worldwide shortage of devices and the need to increase import and activate production of safe and effective surgical masks at the national level. In order to support the demand for testing surgical masks in the Italian context, Universities provided their contribution by setting up laboratories for testing mask performance before releasing products into the national market. This paper reports the effort of seven Italian university laboratories who set up facilities for testing face masks during the emergency period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Measurement set-ups were built, adapting the methods specified in the EN 14683:2019+AC. Data on differential pressure (DP) and bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) of 120 masks, including different materials and designs, were collected over three months. More than 60% of the masks satisfied requirements for DP and BFE set by the standard. Masks made of nonwoven polypropylene with at least three layers (spunbonded–meltblown–spunbonded) showed the best results, ensuring both good breathability and high filtration efficiency. The majority of the masks created with alternative materials and designs did not comply with both standard requirements, resulting in suitability only as community masks. The effective partnering between universities and industries to meet a public need in an emergency context represented a fruitful example of the so-called university “third-mission”.
18
4
1
19
Testing surgical face masks in an emergency context: The experience of italian laboratories during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis / Tessarolo, F.; Nollo, G.; Maniglio, D.; Rigoni, M.; Benedetti, L.; Helfer, F.; Corradi, I.; Rovati, L.; Ferrari, A.; Piccini, M.; Accorsi, L.; Veronesi, E.; Cuoghi, A.; Baglio, S.; Tuccitto, N.; Stefani, S.; Stracquadanio, S.; Caraci, F.; Terrasi, A.; Tricomi, A.; Musumeci, M.; Miraglia, A.; Cuttone, G.; Cosentino, S.; Muscas, C.; Vitali, L. A.; Petrelli, D.; Angrisani, L.; Colicchio, R.; D'Anna, A.; Iavicoli, I.; De Falco, G.; Di Natale, F.; Di Maio, E.; Salvatore, P.; Quaglia, F.; Mingoia, M.; Castellini, P.; Chiariotti, P.; Simoni, S.; Montalto, L.; Baleani, A.; Paone, N.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH. - ISSN 1660-4601. - 18:4(2021), pp. 1-19. [10.3390/ijerph18041462]
Tessarolo, F.; Nollo, G.; Maniglio, D.; Rigoni, M.; Benedetti, L.; Helfer, F.; Corradi, I.; Rovati, L.; Ferrari, A.; Piccini, M.; Accorsi, L.; Veronesi, E.; Cuoghi, A.; Baglio, S.; Tuccitto, N.; Stefani, S.; Stracquadanio, S.; Caraci, F.; Terrasi, A.; Tricomi, A.; Musumeci, M.; Miraglia, A.; Cuttone, G.; Cosentino, S.; Muscas, C.; Vitali, L. A.; Petrelli, D.; Angrisani, L.; Colicchio, R.; D'Anna, A.; Iavicoli, I.; De Falco, G.; Di Natale, F.; Di Maio, E.; Salvatore, P.; Quaglia, F.; Mingoia, M.; Castellini, P.; Chiariotti, P.; Simoni, S.; Montalto, L.; Baleani, A.; Paone, N.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
ijerph-18-01462-v2.pdf

Open access

Tipologia: Versione pubblicata dall'editore
Dimensione 4.07 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.07 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

Licenza Creative Commons
I metadati presenti in IRIS UNIMORE sono rilasciati con licenza Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal, mentre i file delle pubblicazioni sono rilasciati con licenza Attribuzione 4.0 Internazionale (CC BY 4.0), salvo diversa indicazione.
In caso di violazione di copyright, contattare Supporto Iris

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/1236419
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 5
  • Scopus 11
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 11
social impact