What are the medical standards in EIL

Incorrect declarations - hygiene masks: What is on the packaging is not always included

Jump to content
  1. News
  2. Switzerland
  3. Current article
content

Masks from retailers and pharmacies are often incorrectly declared. There is no guarantee that they will protect well.

Author: Nadine Woodtli and Maria Kressbach

The so-called hygiene masks made of multi-layer fleece paper all look the same, but if you take a closer look at the packaging, there are decisive differences - in quality and consequently also in protection.

Hygiene masks are officially considered a medical product if they are certified in Europe according to test standard EN 14683. This can be recognized by the CE mark). The following types meet these requirements:

According to Swissmedic, caution is required if the masks do not meet this test standard. The Heilmittelinstitut warns on its website: "In the case of non-compliant medical face masses, the level of protection according to European Standard 14683 is not guaranteed."

Switzerland imported non-compliant China masks

However, because there was a lack of masks at the beginning of the pandemic, the Federal Office of Public Health allowed masks that did not meet European standards to be imported from China. Such masks should not be worn by health workers. The packs must therefore be labeled “non medical” or “not for medical use”.

“Kassensturz” shows, however, that very few masks are correctly and completely written on. For Dr. Margit Widmann, lecturer for quality management of medical devices at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences, dangerous: "If the declaration is incomplete, I don't know whether the mask I bought really protects me."

Examples of incorrectly declared masks

Open the box Close the box
  • Manor: The outdated test standard from 2005 is noted on the box of masks purchased from Manor. It is no longer valid. Manor explains: "The inconsistencies on the packaging will shortly be corrected with a sticker, and in the medium term with revised packaging."
  • Saving: The designation CE indicates that the masks are Europe-certified. It is misleading. In fact, they meet the lower requirements of a community mask, but not the stricter European standard. There is no indication that the mask is not suitable for medical use. Spar writes: “Spar will check the packaging in German for the next edition, including a note to adapt. The current packaging has nevertheless been released for sale. "
  • Pharmacy Zur Rose: The masks are declared as Type II and bear the CE mark. That is wrong, they do not meet the European quality standard. The CE mark is therefore misleading. Statement from Zur Rose: “The information for use in the packaging states that the hygiene masks are not suitable for medical use. We got in touch with the supplier. For the sake of better transparency, this notice is also attached to the packaging. We have supplemented the product description in the webshop accordingly. " (Editor's note: According to the law, the note should be attached to the outside of the package.)

VBS masks: do they protect enough?

The so-called VBS masks - procured by the federal government for retailers and pharmacies and sold 18 million times - also raise questions. Expert Margit Widmann: “The CE mark gives the impression that this mask meets European requirements. In the small print I then discover a Chinese standard that is against air pollution. And then I wonder whether these masks are suitable against Covid-19. "

In fact, these masks are mistakenly sold as Type II. At first the DDPS refused to look into the test reports. Nevertheless, "Kassensturz" revealed: This mask is not allowed to wear a CE. It is not a compliant medical product. However, the corresponding note is missing. Consumers get the impression that they are buying a certified product with a high quality standard.

VBS opinion

Open the box Close the box

Brigadier Markus Näf was responsible for the procurement of medical products on behalf of the DDPS. He confirms the research of “Kassensturz”: “This mask is declared as a medical face mask, but that is not correct. It was mistakenly declared incorrectly in the context of the initial distribution, in which the masks are distributed via major distributors. However, the mask meets the criteria so that it does not pose a risk to the population. "

At the moment it is being checked how many of these masks have already been used. If stocks are still available, it is discussed whether they should be provided with a sticker informing them that they are not for medical use.

Market surveillance must take action

Great chaos on the mask market. To date, Swissmedic has received over 100 reports of non-compliant medical face masks. Michel Pürro is responsible for the control of medical devices and is familiar with the jumble of masks: “The situation is confusing for the consumer. However, Swissmedic is using market surveillance measures to ensure that more medical devices come onto the market in the future. " Anyone who discovers incorrectly declared masks should report this to Swissmedic.

Market surveillance is now required. Because consumers who want to protect themselves and others with a high-quality mask in the future must be able to rely on a clear and correct declaration.

Information from Swissmedic:

The most important information about the coronavirus:

Open the box Close the box

Tagesschau, 09/01/2020, 6:00 p.m. / Kassensturz, 09/01/2020, 9:05 p.m.

  1. News
  2. Switzerland
  3. Current article
Shut down

Always well informed!

Receive all news highlights directly via browser push and always stay up to date. More

Push notifications are brief messages on your screen with the most important messages - regardless of whether srf.ch is currently open or not. If you click on one of the notes, you will be directed to the corresponding article. You can deactivate these notifications at any time. Fewer

Activate push notifications

You have already hidden this notice about activating browser push notifications several times. Do you want to hide this notice permanently or be reminded of it again in a few weeks?

Most read articles

Scroll left Scroll right

Social login

For the registration we need additional information about yourself.

{* #socialRegistrationForm *} {* firstName *} {* lastName *} {* emailAddress *} {* displayName *} {* mobile *} {* addressCity *} {* / socialRegistrationForm *}

Welcome back

Please log in to enter a comment.

{* loginWidget *} Use a different account

Login and register


Log In

{* #signInForm *} {* signInEmailAddress *} {* currentPassword *} Forgot your password? {* / signInForm *}

Simply log in with your social media account or your Apple ID

{* loginWidget *}

Create a new password

Enter the email address of your user account. We will then send you a link that you can use to create a new password.

{* #forgotPasswordForm *} {* signInEmailAddress *} {* / forgotPasswordForm *}

Create a new password

You will shortly receive an email with a link to renew your password.

Didn't get a message?

If you have not received an e-mail after 10 minutes, please check your SPAM folder and the details of your e-mail address.

Welcome back

Please log in to enter a comment.

{* #signInForm *} {* signInEmailAddress *} {* currentPassword *} Forgot your password? {* / signInForm *} Use a different account

Technical error

Oh oops! A technical issue occured. Please try again later or contact our customer service.

Confirm mobile number

So that you can enter a comment, we ask you to confirm your mobile number. We will send you an SMS code to the mobile number.

There has been an error. Please try again or contact our customer service.

Too many codes have already been requested for the mobile number. The function is blocked to prevent misuse.

Too many attempts. Please request a new code or contact our customer service.

Change mobile number

Too many attempts. Please request a new code or contact our customer service.

This mobile number is already in use. Please change your mobile number or contact our customer service.

Change mobile number

The maximum number of codes for the specified number has been reached. No more codes can be created.

Confirm email address

We have sent you an email at the address {* emailAddressData *} Posted. Please check your e-mail inbox and confirm your account using the activation link you received.

Didn't get a message?

If you have not received an e-mail after 10 minutes, please check your SPAM folder and the details of your e-mail address.

Adjust user data

{* resendLink *}

Register and login


to register

With an SRF account, you have the option of entering comments on our website and in the SRF app.

{* #registrationForm *} {* firstName *} {* lastName *} {* emailAddress *} {* displayName *} {* mobile *} {* addressCity *} {* newPassword *} {* newPasswordConfirm *} {* / registrationForm *}

Confirm email address

We have sent you an email at the address {* emailAddressData *} Posted. Please check your e-mail inbox and confirm your account using the activation link you received.

Didn't get a message?

If you have not received an e-mail after 10 minutes, please check your SPAM folder and the details of your e-mail address.

Adjust user data

{* resendLink *}

Your activation email has been sent

Please check your e-mail inbox. The activation email has been sent.

Verified email address

Thank you for verifying your email address.

user account

In this view you can manage your user data.

{* savedProfileMessage *} {* / editProfileForm *}

Change Password

Deactivate account

User data saved successfully

You can view your data in your user account at any time.


Adjust user data

Change Password

Define a new password for your account {* emailAddressData *}.

{* #changePasswordForm *} {* currentPassword *} {* newPassword *} {* newPasswordConfirm *} {* / changePasswordForm *}

Create a new password

Define a new password for your account.

{* #changePasswordFormNoAuth *} {* newPassword *} {* newPasswordConfirm *} {* / changePasswordFormNoAuth *}

Password saved successfully

You can now log in to the article with your new password.

Create a new password

We did not recognize the code to reset the password. Please re-enter your email address so that we can send you a new link.

{* #resetPasswordForm *} {* signInEmailAddress *} {* / resetPasswordForm *}

Create a new password

You will shortly receive an email with a link to renew your password.

Didn't get a message?

If you have not received an e-mail after 10 minutes, please check your SPAM folder and the details of your e-mail address.

Deactivate account

Your account will be deactivated and you will not be able to reactivate it. Recorded comments are not deleted.

Do you really want to deactivate your account?

{* deactivateAccountForm *} {* / deactivateAccountForm *}

Account deactivated

Your account has been deactivated and can no longer be used.
If you would like to register again for the comment function, please contact SRF customer service.

  • Comment from Adrian Reding (allesschonvergben)
    For private use, 3-layer hygienic masks WITHOUT EN-14683 certification are completely sufficient! (also confirmed by the Robert Koch Institute)

    If everyone buys certified medical masks now, our Swiss health system will soon reach its limits, as there is far too little!

    The need for masks has increased so that the certification cannot be mastered at all! Buy regular 3-ply masks and leave medical masks to medicine.
    Agree Agree to the comment Select answers to reply to the comment
  • Comment from Beat. Mosimann (AG)
    Paper masks, after an hour the mask is very damp from the air I breathe, which in turn causes pollution and bacteria to stick to my mask, the mask smells of waste paper, used up. What are the masks made of? Paper fleece, are we made from wood fiber? A virus is 100 times smaller than a bacterium, so we already need oxygen masks to clean the air, dirty waste paper sticks through the mask in front of the mouth / nose, exhaust gases collected everything on my mask
    Agree Agree to the comment Select answers to reply to the comment
  • Comment from Marie-Louise Schuldt (Dixxy46)
    Good news: I bought masks from COOP in July without CE numbers and labeled as insufficient by Kassensturz. Today I was able to return it without any problems and got my money back without any problems. Without receipt !! Good service. You can't always complain!
    Agree Agree to the comment Select answers to reply to the comment

Footer