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The ISO16890 standard

Since the end of 2016, the ISO 16890 standard for air filters is in use. This ISO standard is the international standard for testing and classifying air filters and replaces the EN 779:2012 standard. After a transition phase of 18 months, the ISO 16890 standard has been the standard for some time.

What is the ISO16890 standard?

ISO 16890 defines how an air filter is chosen. The ISO 16890 standard focuses on the size of fine dust particles (also known as PM) rather than on filter performance. The advantage: a more practical and realistic criterion than the theoretical EN 779:2012.

Filter efficiency will be determined based on the groups PM1, PM2.5 and PM10. These indicate the different sizes of fine dust particles. This classification is similar to the groups used by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other authorities. Based on these groups, it is easier for users to select a suitable air filter based on practical use.

ISO 16890 classifies air filters into 4 groups (view the table). The requirement for each group is that a filter must capture at least 50% of the particle size in question, both in loaded and unloaded states.

If a filter captures more than 50% of the PM1 particles, it will be classified as an ISO ePM1 filter. In addition, the percentage efficiency within the group will be mentioned. This percentage is rounded off to 5%.

If a filter captures less than 50% of the particles of PM10, it will be classified as ISO coarse. The percentage will reflect the efficiency on particles larger than 10 µm. A filter that achieves more than 50% efficiency in several groups will be classified in all the groups concerned.

What does this mean for you as a user?

With regard to the choice of a particular filter, practical use will be decisive. In addition, the efficiency of a filter is more transparent for everyone. This is because a filter class is no longer mentioned, as this means little to most users. Instead, it is clearly stated what percentage of a certain particle size is captured by a filter.

View the infographic on the transition from the EN779 to ISO16890 standard.

View infographic