Manipulated Empa reports in circulation
No sooner had Empa recently developed technologies and quality standards for textile "community masks" together with the Swiss textile industry and other partners within the framework of the national COVID 19 Science Task Force than the first attempts at fraud popped up: Using manipulated Empa reports dubious suppliers promote masks of possibly inferior quality.
In order to respond swiftly to the need for reliable protective masks, Empa recently developed technologies and quality standards for textile "community masks" as part of the national COVID 19 Science Task Force. On behalf of several manufacturers, Empa had also temporarily tested the protective effects of masks – and summarized the results in reports for the companies. These reports can be used by producers and importers to document the effectiveness of the masks that had been tested. Resourceful fraudsters have now apparently obtained and manipulated these reports. Empa filed criminal charges as soon as it was informed of the falsified reports.
In future, the independent Swiss testing and certification company TESTEX AG, to which Empa has passed on its expertise for testing the masks, will be responsible for testing masks. Empa researchers will now once again concentrate on the development of new types of masks and mask components as part of the ReMask project. For example, they are already working on developing new types of masks for the current crisis, but also for future pandemics. In future, the research will also be funded by the Swiss Innovation Promotion Agency Innosuisse and will be carried out in cooperation with the industry associations Swiss Textiles and Swissmem.