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The Bandung Textile Center (BBT) as a work unit under the Industrial Service Policy and Standardization Agency (BSKJI) of the Ministry of Industry is collaborating with the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) in building a laboratory facility for testing N95 masks.

"We express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to BNPB for allocating the 2020 DIPA budget in the form of assistance in the procurement of N95 Mask Testing Laboratory equipment for BBT Bandung," said Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita.

The N95 Mask Testing Laboratory at BBT Bandung has been able to carry out mask testing in accordance with the requirements of the N95 quality standard recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Test parameters that can be carried out include Bacteria Filtration Efficiency (BFE), Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE), Breathing Resistance, Synthetic Blood Penetration Tester, Differential Pressure Test, and Flammability test.

In addition, the Bandung BBT TEXPA Product Certification Institute was also appointed by the National Standardization Body (BSN) as one of the product certification bodies authorized to issue a cloth mask SNI Marking Product Certificate (SPPT).

"With the N95 mask testing laboratory facility and supported by the TEXPA BBT Product Certification Institute, it is hoped that it can help the textile industry to ensure and guarantee that the mask products produced meet standard requirements," said Agus.

The Head of BSKJI of the Ministry of Industry, Doddy Rahadi said that the Covid-19 Government Borne Import Duty (BMDTP) facility for imports of goods and materials needed domestically through PMK Number 134 / PMK.010 / 2020, especially in the PPE Mask industry sector, is still needed considering the availability. The raw material for masks is estimated to still require 10 million tons of spunbond and Meltblown textile materials to meet production needs throughout 2021.

Then, according to Doddy, another strategy in an effort to accelerate the production of N95 masks is to provide facilities for implementing N95 mask product quality standards that are easily accessible to the domestic industry.

This N95 BBT Bandung mask testing laboratory facility has referred to the N95 mask quality standard recommended by WHO, namely EN 149: 2001 + A1: 2009, which has now been identically adopted by BSN to become SNI EN 149: 2001 + A1: 2009.

In addition, BSN has adopted identical medical mask standards SNI EN 14683: 2019 + AC: 2019, in addition to SNI 8488: 2018 which was previously published.

Several test parameters at BBT are also listed in SNI 8913: 2020 Textiles - Fabrics for surgical gowns, surgical drapes and medical coveralls as well as SNI 8914: 2020 Textile Masks from Cloth, where BBT contributes to the design process of the two SNI standards.

Another work unit under BSKJI, namely the Center for Material and Technical Products (B4T) has been appointed by BSN and the Ministry of Health to become a medical mask Product Certification Institute (LSP).

The existence of the N95 Mask Laboratory facility owned by BBT, is expected to help the product quality testing phase in the certification process, so that in the future there will be many N95 mask products and medical masks that already use the SNI mark.