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PPE face mask testing services

NPL supports designers and manufacturers in achieving CE marking of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The response by industry to support the government’s call to produce more PPE has been remarkable, with many new and existing manufacturers bringing new and innovative designs to market.

Getting PPE to NHS staff and care workers is vital but ensuring that it is safe to use and fit for purpose is paramount. This is just one of the many ways that NPL has been supporting the national effort and responding to the COVID-19 crisis. By helping companies who produce PPE to meet UK standards and achieve a CE marking*, so that equipment can be produced quickly and in volume.

We support industry, government and frontline workers by aiding the certification of PPE through providing test capabilities and consultation, ahead of mainline production. Whilst we are not an accredited test house, we help manufacturers accelerate their product development process by screening early prototypes. We can help assure them that their final products will pass formal compliance tests and achieve the desired CE mark.

NPL provides designers and manufacturers with a range of testing and consultation services, which includes: 

  • Guidance to ensure PPE is safe and feedback in readiness for certification
  • Support to expedite the research and development process through design evaluation
  • Advice and support to achieve the most critical test criteria for surgical and PPE face masks such as flow resistance, particle penetration and fluid resistance
  • Testing the impact of decontamination and cleaning methods on PPE materials

As the country starts to return to work and sets out our ‘new normal’, it is expected that demand for PPE is only going to increase further. Designers and manufacturers will want to ensure their products attain the CE mark at the point of design. NPL can ease that pathway. 

With lead times on testing equipment being a major bottleneck in getting services up and running NPL would like to acknowledge the support received from CMC Analytical Group, GSK, Ware in their supply of an Andersen Cascade Impactor to help NPL in its assessment of particle filtration performance of face masks.

Andy Morris, Operations Manager - NPL North

*CE marking is a certification mark that indicates conformity with health, safety and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area before they can be used.

Understanding the standards for PPE

PPE testing and consultation services


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