TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) responded to criticism by Austrians that Taiwan-made masks are not up to standard, compared to the FFP2 masks Austrians are required to wear.
The Taiwan women's basketball team went to Austria to participate in the 3-on-3 Olympic qualifying tournament, but the masks worn by the team did not comply with Austrian regulations, Liberty Times reported. Taiwan’s basketball authority said that the competition’s organizers did not inform them that Austria’s standards for mask specifications are different from those of other countries.
However, after seeking assistance, the team has obtained enough 3D masks for their stay in the European nation. The MOEA on Thursday (May 27) listed five points defending the quality of Taiwanese masks:
1. Viruses are spread by attaching to saliva droplets. Most of the droplets are larger than 1 micron, which is about the size of bacteria. Therefore, the current CNS14774 standard for general medical masks is sufficient to resist diseases transmitted through droplets, such as the current coronavirus.
As for surgical masks, safe particle filtration efficiency, blood penetration resistance, and flame resistance are also required.
2. The mask manufacturer must prove that its own products have an excellent filtration efficiency, which is indeed conducive to marketing, so there is no need to reject general medical testing standards. Since last year, the Ministry of Health and Welfare has repeatedly emphasized to the general public that when people wear medical masks outside, it is effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus.
3. The current domestic supply meltblown fabric is sufficient to meet the demands of Taiwan’s daily mask production. The filtration efficiency of meltblown fabric can be maintained for more than five years at room temperature.
Generally, medical mask producers must apply for a medical material license in accordance with the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act and attach a report that the product has passed the CNS14774 bacterial filtration efficiency test and pressure difference.
Only after being reviewed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) can the certificate be issued. The MOHW also conducts random inspections of products after they are launched.
4. The protective features of the mask come from the meltblown fabric in the middle layer and have little to do with the color or the pattern of the outermost layer. All domestically produced medical masks must be embossed with “MD” and “Made in Taiwan.”
They must also comply with the CNS14774 bacterial filtration efficiency and differential pressure standards.
5. All medical institutions under the Central Epidemic Command Center are given surgical masks.