SGS Independently Checked Mark for Reusable Face Masks

Reusable Brown Facemask

Demonstrate to consumers that your reusable face masks meet the highest standards for quality and performance.

SGS Next Normal SolutionsAs the COVID-19 crisis continues and we prepare for the next normal, people are unsure about how they can best protect themselves from the virus as they go about their daily routines. They want to be sure that their face masks meet government guidelines and provide them with sufficient protection to prevent the spread of infection.

The SGS IC Mark for Reusable Face Masks provides proof that reusable fabric face masks meet the minimum legal requirements for quality and performance. It allows you to provide your customers with peace of mind, increasing their confidence in your brand, and enables your product to stand out in the marketplace.

The SGS IC Mark confirms compliance with ASTM F3502 – Specification for Barrier Face Coverings. It is only available in the US and Canada.

What is the IC Mark?

The SGS Reusable Fabric Face Mask Independently Checked (IC) Mark was developed by a team of leading textiles, filtration and restricted substances experts.


It shows that a reusable fabric face mask was manufactured with a focus on critical quality and performance characteristics, so that it meets the minimum legal requirements. The Mark can be placed on product packaging.

SGS independently and randomly draws a sample of the product, conducts the testing and posts the test results on a publicly accessible online database that makes the product more visible to retailers and consumers. The QR code that comes with the mark allows users to find that specific product on the database.

What are the benefits?

In these uncertain times, this program offers greater transparency and helps simplify the confusing world of face masks, which consumers often find hard to understand.

The SGS IC Mark for reusable face masks will enable you to:

  • Increase consumer trust in your brand by providing them with a QR code they can use to verify the quality of your face masks
  • Ensure compliance with regulatory health and labeling requirements
  • Differentiate your product from those of competitors

What do we test for?

Multiple experts have participated in drafting the various domestic and international mask/face covering guidelines which serve as the basis of the SGS Reusable Fabric Face Mask IC Mark test parameters. Tailor made for every mask and face covering, the SGS Independently Checked Mark program tests and verifies all of these parameters, or those specifically selected by you to comprise the specific test protocol used for initial product evaluation.

Parameters include:

  • Breathability
  • Particle filtration efficiency
  • Labeling
  • Strap/attachment strength
  • Service life claims
  • Restricted substances
  • Flammability
  • Colorfastness and other textile quality tests

What is the testing process?

Once we receive your inquiry, we will send you an application form and a draft contract.

After your application has been approved and you have signed the contract, test parameters will be established. SGS will draw samples from production and evaluate them according to the agreed upon test protocol. We will also verify that they meet the applicable regulatory requirements, through document review or actual testing.

When the approval process has been successfully completed, you will be granted the right to use the SGS Independently Check Mark.

What does SGS do with the results?

If the results of the initial product testing comply with the requirements of the test protocol, SGS will provide you with formal approval to use the SGS Reusable Fabric Face Mask IC Mark for the test parameters for that specific mask/face covering.

SGS will also create a QR code page for that specific product. This will include:

  • A brief product description and image
  • The date and scope of the test
  • The criteria tested and the results
  • The approval number
  • The manufacturer’s details, plus those of any applicable retailer

How long does approval last?

Evaluation must be re-performed within 12 months of the initial product testing and approval to ensure continued product compliance to the established test protocol.

The SGS Reusable Fabric Face Mask IC Mark cannot be used if the production facility (that produced the initially tested product) changes, or if the product, its raw materials or its production process is modified.

ASTM F3502

ASTM F3502 - Specification for Barrier Face Coverings

Intended to be worn by the general public and workers, barrier face coverings are defined as a product worn on the face, specifically covering at least the wearer’s nose and mouth, with the primary purpose of providing source control and to provide a degree of particulate filtration to reduce the amount of inhaled particulate matter.

ASTM F3502 establishes minimum design, performance (testing), labeling, user instruction, reporting and classification, and conformity assessment requirements.

The specification establishes two classification levels of performance for each evaluation, with Level 1 being minimum. These tests must be performed by an ISO 17025 laboratory.

Performance Property Level 1 (Lower Performance) Level 2 (Higher Performance)
Sub-micron particulate filtration efficiency ≥ 20% ≥ 50%
Air flow resistance, inhalation ≤ 15 mm H2O ≤ 5 mm H2O

Why SGS?

We are the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, with a global network of highly experienced experts and state-of-the-art laboratories. As the recognized global benchmark for quality and integrity, we will help you to ensure that your products meet government and consumer demands for quality and safety.

SGS Next Normal Solutions

Next Normal Solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in the modern era, posing unforeseen challenges to business continuity. At SGS, we are working hard to meet those challenges and support international efforts to beat COVID-19.

Our experts are responding to the challenges our clients face with innovative solutions to help operations now, to ensure business continuity for the duration of the pandemic, and to support the recovery and evolution through each phase of the ‘next normal’.

Learn more about the SGS IC Mark. Contact an expert today.

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