(ECNS) -- Air pollution has meant face masks are the norm for many city residents, but there's no industrial standard available for the booming children's market, Beijing Youth Daily reported.
The technical standards regarding civilian protective masks, the first of their kind in China, will take effect on Nov. 11, creating four categories of masks depending on performance in filtering particulate matter.
The rule was introduced after many products failed to provide even basic protection. However, the standards clearly exclude information regarding masks for children.
Experts involved in drafting the rule say children's physical differences vary significantly, making it difficult to collect data and introduce rule.s
Zhao Jinyu, a senior engineer with the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association, said there's currently not enough data about the influences of breathing difficulties on children's growth.
Feng Guofang, a doctor at Beijing Children's Hospital East Branch, said more children reported symptoms of trachitis, bronchitis, and allergic rhinitis on smoggy days. Feng also said children should wear protective masks outdoors on polluted days because they are more sensitive to breathing hazards.
The newspaper said face masks for children range in price from ten yuan ($1.5) each to about 100 yuan, but mostly they are just mini-versions of the adult masks.
A woman, whose daughter is a first grader, said children wear many kinds of masks, from expensive ones to disposable. Another woman said she tried four types of masks for her child but found them either too big or too small. She had now given up using masks for her child.
A salesperson for a domestic brand said their child mask was identical to the adult's in all ways except size.
But Zhao said the ideal mask for a child should not just be smaller in size. Zhao also said efforts will be made to collect data and introduce a standard for children's masks.