In these unprecedented times, Camfil is working with Swedish health services to provide the urgently needed respiratory protection masks.

At Camfil, we’re passionate about clean air and helping people in our communities by sharing the expertise. When this assignment came to Camfil, there were no doubts about our commitment to take this forward. We are dedicated to testing, designing, and manufacturing the respiratory protection masks to support the healthcare system in Sweden. Life Science and healthcare is an area of expertise for Camfil and we are delivering air filtration and ventilation solutions to hospitals and medical facilities around the world – including operating theatres, laboratories, reception rooms, intensive care units, and pharmacies.

Camfil provides a steady supply of respiratory masks to Sweden’s hardest-hit region

We are currently delivering 100,000 respiratory protection masks each week to the local health authorities in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden and the region hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. These will be distributed to frontline health workers across the region. In total, we will produce 5 million respiratory protection masks. We hope to be able to supply other Swedish regions in the future.  

From idea to rapid response  

The idea for a mask took shape within Camfil when the corona outbreak first emerged. As experts in air filtration solutions, we simply could not just stand by – so we prepared to act. Ideas for respiratory protection masks began to come in from our offices in Malaysia, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden and others. The project then gained momentum through Camfil’s Global Tech Center in Trosa, Sweden. Since such face masks are not part of Camfil’s regular manufacturing output, we kicked off a large-scale internal initiative to get up and running with a prototype. The prototype was then tested in one of our laboratories. Product development in the filter industry usually takes several months or even years. For this fast pace development, it took plenty of hard work to redeploy production lines while finding partners and suppliers who could help make the idea a reality as soon as possible. The production started in Trosa, Sweden and CamProtect respiratory protection masks became a reality.

about camfil tech center in trosa, sweden
  • Opened about 10 years ago.  
  • Used for research and development of new products and equipment for manufacturing and testing filters.  
  • Area: 2,500 m2 (27,000 sq.ft.)
  • Contains 5 labs: particle lab, high-efficiency filter lab, molecular filter lab, lab for indoor air quality testing, and lab for gas turbine filters

More useful information about Trosa Tech Center:

Vigorous testing of respiratory protection masks using a proven method  

Camfil’s face masks have been rigorously fit tested to ensure that they achieve an adequate protection factor. The most common testing method for these respiratory masks tests the amount of particles that pass through the mask. In our lab, we can also break down this percentage by particle size. This is not standard when testing respiratory protection devices classified as FFP2 and FFP3, but it is important when protection against the coronavirus is desired. Because COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets that contain the virus, so the filter efficiency is critical.   

Watch how different-sized particles stay in place or drift in the air in this study from Toho University in Japan:  click here

The independent test institute RISE is testing our face masks according to the penetration requirements in European standard EN149.  Learn more here: 

Camfil is testing other supplier masks for Karolinska University Hospital  

Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden has been purchasing respiratory protection masks from several suppliers since the virus began to spread in Sweden. To make sure these face masks meet the quality and standards promised, we helped them test the masks in our lab. So far, we have tested over 60 different face masks. The respiratory protection masks that meet all the safety requirements should be used in hospital settings to ensure employee protection.  

production of respiratory masks at camfil

Masks trial and approval by hospital staff  

Since Karolinska University Hospital and Region Stockholm already buy Camfil air filtration solutions through our partner Coor, it didn’t take long before they heard about our prototype. It took two days before they sent representatives to Camfil’s Tech Center in Trosa to visit the test lab and get a demonstration. Our respiratory protection masks were then tested by staff at Karolinska, who responded very positively.    

CPR mannequin the first to be tested   

At the beginning of the project, we bought a styrofoam test dummy to test the respiratory mask prototype and evaluate its results. We drilled holes in the dummy, and inserted hoses, pumps, and gauges to count particles outside and inside of the masks. After contacting Karolinska, we instead received an anatomically correct CPR mannequin that allowed us to more accurately simulate the tests and test the fit of the mask. Watch how we tested the masks in the test chamber.

Production saves jobs  

Before production start-up, we contacted both longstanding and newer partners to begin the project as soon as possible. Production of the respiratory protection masks is now in full swing. As a result, certain factory workers and others who were laid off could get their jobs back. And the fact that production takes place in Sweden helps to ensure more reliable deliveries.  
Facts about Camfil’s respiratory protection masks (CamProtect)
Standards: FFP2 and FFP3, where FF stands for filtering facepiece (half-face mask), P stands for particles, and the digit indicates class. Class 3 has the highest protective effect.  

Initial Quantity per week: 100,000  

Total Quantity:

Tested:  By the independent testing institute RISE, based on the penetration requirements of EN149, and at Camfil’s Tech Center in Trosa.  

In Sweden.   

Initially in the Stockholm region, but discussions are underway with other regions of Sweden. 

Fotograf: Josefin Lundgren Gawell
Modell: Pauline Rylander Hagson