With the COVID-19 global pandemic, the utilization of face masks to limit transmission of the viral illness has gained traction. The most common type used is the 3-layer disposable, hygienic face mask. As with any consumer product, it is important that these face coverings are free of chemicals or hazards for the people that wear them, including metals. While no specific methods exist for the analysis of metals in non-medical face coverings, ISO 18562-4:2017 Biocompatibility of Breathing Gas Pathways in Healthcare Applications – Part 4: Leachables in Condensate may be relevant and applied, since it discusses the sample preparation, analytes and methodologies used to evaluate data quality.
This work describes the sample preparation and analysis of metals in disposable, non-medical face masks using the Avio® 550 Max ICP-OES, to meet the criteria defined in ISO 18562-4:2017. The Avio 550 Max is a fully simultaneous ICP and was chosen for this application due to its exceptional stability, its high resolution, which aids in interference removal, and its low argon consumption.