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ASTM International’s Standardization News Highlights “Standards Behind the Mask”
ASTM International spotlights “Standards Behind the Mask” in its September/October edition of Standardization News, and examines the evolution of standardization work to support personal protective equipment (PPE), which still play a major role in health safety nearly three years after COVID-19 evolved into global pandemic status.
The article reflects on how members of ASTM International’s committee on protective clothing (F23) worked to improve standards for masks and other wearables as questions surrounding effective masks arose during the early days of the pandemic. ASTM reports the committee worked on the development of a new standard specification for barrier face coverings (F3502), which has been cited by the U.S. government as the basis for purchasing products and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. The standard is also recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and stipulated as a recommended product specification by the World Health Organization.
"F23 quickly formed a relatively large workgroup of nearly 100 participants to establish this new standard," said Jeff Stull, member of F23 and president of International Personnel Protection. "Work was completed within a period of approximately seven months and F3502 was approved through a full ASTM consensus process, something that no other country or region achieved."
The issue also explores progress on recent updates to medical masks and emphasizes that standard specifications for surgical gowns intended for use in healthcare facilities (F2407) and for isolation gowns intended for use in healthcare facilities (F3352) are also in the process of being improved.
Access the digital issue of Standardization News on ASTM International’s website.
Mayo Clinic Explores the Bivalent Booster Shot
The Mayo Clinic News Network has published a short video with information about the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, also referred to as the “updated” COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.
Bivalent vaccines are designed to protect people from the original coronavirus strain and highly contagious omicron subvariants. As the FDA notes, the vaccines include “a component of the original virus strain to provide broad protection against COVID-19 and a component of the omicron variant to provide better protection against COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant.”
"All of the other components are the same, so it works the exact same way at inducing an immune response,” said Dr. Richard Kennedy, co-director of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. “It's just that now this immune response that it creates will target the spike protein from the original strain and these new spike proteins that we're seeing in current viruses."
Access the video featuring Dr. Kennedy via the Mayo News Network.
See more ANSI member efforts in the ANSI COVID-19 Resource Webpage Highlighting Standardization Community Response.