Open source specifications for highly protective public mouth masks now available

An expert consortium, coordinated by ChemistryNL and ASML, is proud to present two concepts for highly protective mouth masks. One product concept has a high filter efficiency as well as a good breathability. The second protective concept is a sustainable mouth mask, as a response to the growing waste stream of single used mouth masks. The research findings are now freely available for producers, buyers and users.

In the last few months, about 20 partners with a medical, technical or business background have joined forces to develop highly protective public mouth masks for millions of vulnerable people in The Netherlands. All partners contributed to this initiative free of charge and without commercial interest. Accredited tests have been performed by ProQares and Kalibra.

Good filtering while securing breathability
The partners developed a mask concept with an unique combination of a high filter efficiency and a good breathability. Due to the low breathing resistance, this single-use mask is relatively user-friendly for vulnerable people who suffer from breathing problems. Masks based on our specifications are already produced in the Netherlands on a small scale and used for instance in research on lung patients.

High-quality cotton for reusable masks
Besides the single-use concept, the consortium came up with a sustainable concept for the general public. The proposed material for this mask is biologically produced high-quality cotton. This material can be washed and reused up to 30 times while maintaining an acceptable filter efficiency. There is already a demand for this sustainable product concept, mainly from foreign buyers.

Market opportunity
As face shapes vary among people production of masks in different sizes is required to minimize leakage at the edges of a mask. Production of masks with a good and comfortable fit is therefore a key opportunity.

More information?
Details of the effective mouth mask initiative and a summary of our findings can be found here (in Dutch).

Would you like to know more about this initiative or get in touch with one of the partners of the initiative? Please contact us at

Previous posts about our activities during the COVID-19 crisis:
27 January 2021: Open webinar on the effective mouth masks initiative
Collaboration on a public design and guidelines for effective mouth masks
Contribution ChemistryNL to COVID-19 crisis


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