This will be the indispensable accessory of the déconfinement : the mask in general public. A week of 11 may, it is still difficult to obtain, but many have already begun to make themselves, in particular through the guide of the Afnor published at the end of march. A month after its release, it has already been downloaded over 1.2 million times.
If, in nearly a century of history, it has counted with famous employees – Boris Vian worked there, and even wrote his novel The Foam of days on the letterhead of the Afnor – Association française de normalisation was up to now unknown to the French lambda. And yet, the standards that it develops rhythm to our daily lives. The format of the A4 sheets to JPEG files, allowing to share photos, or even in a contactless payment standards are everywhere.
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standards are not very restrictive
"the creation in 1926, it was on questions of sizes of screws, gears, components, motor... and Then, gradually, it has broadened the scope of the subjects treated," says Olivier Peyrat, director general of the Afnor. Of standards developer "100 % franco-French in 1926, the organisation has become progressively "coproductrice standards" : today, 90 % of them are european or international.
Often pointed the finger for their rigidity, they are no less necessary, according to Olivier Peyrat, who, " it works best when there are standards ". And they are even more effective if they are widely adopted. "If we speak a language commutes, it is easier to understand. Look at the puzzle when you go abroad, and that the plugs are different from yours ! "
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The vast majority of the standards elaborated by Afnor are not binding, only 1% are. The standards are developed by different stakeholders under the aegis of the organization, and then published to be adopted by those who want it. "It is on a logic of voluntary standard," says Olivier Peyrat. This is the case of taken micro-USB on the phones, for example. "They allow all manufacturers charge their products with a universal charger and to simplify the lives of consumers, and manufacturers of accessories. But there is nothing to prevent those who do not want to, like Apple, do not comply with the standard and to propose their own decision.
An emergency procedure for the masks
The standards are developed on request of the institutions, or when a problem is identified by one or more actors. For the masks, barriers, Afnor "wondered what they could remove "substantial" in the standards-sharp surgical masks and FFP2 to keep performance levels reasonable, while facilitating the manufacturing process to mass-produce, " says Olivier Peyrat.
laboratories, physicians, but also of the users of the masks were consulted in developing this new standard in a record time. "We did this in a week ! Usually, it takes between a year and a half and three years to develop a standard. "The procedures and the formalism usual were exceptionally abandoned to work in the emergency department. "We had the chance to have the standards of the two types of masks already existing, that served as a base. "
Since its publication, the standard masks barriers has been improved according to the feedback. A usual process for the Afnor, which periodically improves its standards in the light of technical advances or scientific, or deletes them when they are no longer useful. "For example, we have removed, about ten years ago, those related to steam locomotives. "The masks themselves seem to be unfortunately left for last.