New CEN standard - Breathe purer air, thanks to EN 13274-7:2019 

Air pollution is a serious health problem in many parts of the world. Luckily, standards can help to reduce its impact on health. This is the case of recently approved EN 13274-7:2019 ‘Respiratory protective devices - Methods of test - Part 7: Determination of particle filter penetration’, which specifies a procedure for the determination of particle filter penetration for respiratory protective devices. This standard is part 7 of the EN 13274 series, which provides test methods related to respiratory protective devices used in Europe.

In particular, EN 13274-7 provides requirements for two test aerosols to evaluate the filter penetration properties of respiratory protective devices purifying the inhaled air from a hazardous environment. The document updates the already existing test methods used in the industry, providing an improvement of certain aspects, and aims at becoming a reference for all respiratory protective device performances standards.

The importance of this standard is that it provides a suitable method to quantify how much given respiratory protective devices reduce the hazards caused by airborne particulates, ensuring they filter out dangerous particles which might otherwise be inhaled, thus protecting the user from a hazardous environment.

EN 13274-7 therefore ensures that wearers of respiratory protective devices can breathe purified air, allowing them to continue their activities without the concern of potential side effects. These could be short-term effects such as coughing, wheezing, asthma and rhinitis, or long-term, such as COPD or lung cancer.

EN 13274-7, together with the other standards part of the EN 13724-7 series, was developed by CEN/TC 79 ‘Respiratory protective devices’, whose Secretariat is currently held by DIN, the German National Standardization Body and member of CEN.

For more information, please contact Jennifer OGBONNA.