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Weekly COVID Update: A Standard for Face Coverings, a White Paper on PPE, and More


The ANSI Federation and standardization community are stepping up with guidance, resources, and initiatives to support public health, safety, and infrastructure during the COVID-19 outbreak. Suggestions for news items may be submitted to [email protected]. All submissions are published at ANSI's discretion.

ASTM International Approves Face Covering Standard, Releases White Paper on PPE

ASTM International announced last week that it has approved the standard ASTM F3502 – 21, Standard Specification for Barrier Face Coverings, which will help establish minimum design, performance, labeling, and care requirements for reusable barrier face coverings. Developed by ASTM's committee on personal protective clothing and equipment (F23), the standard is intended for the general public and worker use.

The standard, available at no cost on, includes specific requirements for barrier face coverings including "design and general construction criteria, particle filtration efficiency levels, sizing and fit testing criteria, labeling instructions, and guidance on cleaning and recommended periods of use," ASTM reports.

"Members of the committee worked together to reach a consensus and address the gap that exists for barrier face coverings that are neither a respirator nor a surgical mask," said ASTM International president Kathie Morgan. "The standard helps to benchmark products and will inform consumers when selecting face coverings for their intended use."

The standard is among nearly 30 COVID-related standards available on ASTM's COVID response page.

In conjunction with the standard, ASTM has also released a technical white paper, "Collaboration to Advance Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Safety, Quality, and Innovation," which identifies the current landscape of standards development for PPE, including a summary of a recent workshop on fast-tracking standards development, challenges facing PPE quality and availability, and challenges facing standards development. To that end, for those directly involved in standards development, the organization also published an article on "Tips for Building Consensus Remotely."

PMMI Releases New Podcast on Tax Credits in the Pandemic

The recent edition of PMMI's podcast series, UnPACKed, on "Looking for Tax Credits to Help You Through the Pandemic?," provides a quick overview of a lesser known government program that offers tax credits to aid businesses through the pandemic. The Employee Retention Credit Act (ERTC) rewards companies who retained employees in 2020, despite hurdles presented from an unstable economy and nationwide lockdowns. The PMMI podcast covers how companies can benefit.

Access additional podcasts on COVID topics on

NAM Launches "This is Our Shot" Campaign

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and The Manufacturing Institute—the workforce development and education partner of the NAM, have unveiled new resources on vaccination information to support manufacturers, their teams, and their communities.

Access the resource page via NAM's website, and view the short campaign video: This Is Our Shot: Love Frank highlighting why manufacturers are getting the COVID19 vaccine.

See more ANSI member efforts in the ANSI COVID-19 Resource Webpage Highlighting Standardization Community Response


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]