Reusable Facemasks: New Regulations in Force
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Panama has a new regulation that establishes requirements on materials, environment for the operation, design, manufacture, labeling, use, washing and final disposal of reusable fabric masks for personal use outside sanitary facilities.
The initiative, which applies to establishments dedicated to the industrial and artisanal manufacture of hygienic cloth masks, as well as their storage and distribution, is based on international standards; providing traders with the tools that will allow them to offer quality products and help in the protection against the Covid-19 virus, informed the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI).

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According to the MICI the new regulation came into force in the country after Resolution No. 80 of April 29, 2021 was issued, which approves technical standard DGNTICOPANIT 516-2021.

Francisco Mola, National Director of Industries and Business Development of the MICI, said that "... unifying criteria on the making and handling of these fabric masks was necessary, highlighting the efforts made by public and private organizations, which contributed to validate the document. 'The standard went through all the stages: outline, preliminary draft, project and public consultation at national level from November 16 to 30, 2020'."

The official statement adds that within the standard, of voluntary nature, it is stated that this type of masks are recommended to healthy adults (not older than 60 years), and children (from 3 years), without symptoms.
 
As regards their manufacture, it establishes that they must cover the nose, mouth and chin, be made of a suitable reusable filtering material that does not cause irritation or adverse health effects, preferably have three layers, not contain paintings, decorations or embroidery in zone zero (nose and mouth area) and guarantee an adequate adjustment to the face, the document points out.

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