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15 tests to ensure quality of cloth masks in Dubai

Staff Reporter/Dubai
Filed on August 17, 2020
The testing is part of Dubai's endeavour to strengthen preventive measures against Covid-19.

(Supplied photo)

World Health Organisation has directed the governments of countries to encourage the wearing of cloth masks.

The Dubai Central Laboratory (DCL) has developed an internal specification that includes 15 tests to ensure the quality of cloth masks, officials have said.

The Consumer Products and Commodities Laboratory Section in the laboratory has developed the system as part of its endeavour to strengthen preventive measures to confront the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amin Ahmed Amin, Director of the DCL, said: "The Dubai Municipality began testing cloth masks since the beginning of this month. This specification has been prepared based on the best international practices in South Korea, Thailand, China and France. It is considered the first of its kind in the Arab world, as the specification contains explanatory instructions for the manufacturing and testing methods based on the latest international standards for the quality, safety and efficiency of textiles, which are used to manufacture these masks. The standard, bearing the number, "DM-DCL-SOP-CP-2028," includes performing 15 tests on cloth masks to ensure that they meet the carefully developed standards."

He pointed out that the most important safety tests include checking the pH, determining heavy metals and formaldehyde, the air permeability, which is the "ease of breathing" test while wearing the mask. Quality tests such as checking the colour stability for wet and dry friction, determining the percentage of shrinkage and expansion in the dimensions of the fabric after washing, determining the fabric's lint resistance, the elasticity and strength of the mask ligaments, checking the efficiency of bacteria resistance in the case of masks that are made from treated fibre, testing the effect of washing more than once, and examining the absorbency property of the fabric used as an inner layer and the insulation property of the fabric used as an outer layer are also conducted.

Innovative specification

Abdul Rahman Al Ali, manager of the Consumer Products and Commodities Laboratory Section, explained that the innovative specification confirms the necessity of providing instructions by manufacturers for using the mask and the method of washing and storing it, so that consumers are aware of this important information.

He stated that the World Health Organisation has directed the governments of countries to encourage the wearing of cloth masks in regions suffering from the spread of Covid-19.


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