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Camfil Announces That the New ISO 16890 Standard Is a Game-Changer for the Air Filtration Industry

By February 21, 2017 No Comments
6 minutes to read

ISO 16890 Ensures That Air Filtration Efficiency Standards Will Be Uniform Throughout the World

Stockholm, Sweden – January 31, 2017: Camfil is pleased to announce that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has introduced a new standard that changes existing testing and classification standards for all air commercial air filters used in general ventilation systems. This represents a revolution in the air filtration industry, as for the first time in many years; air filtration efficiency standards will be uniformly applied throughout the world.

“The reference for this new standard is ISO 16890,” stated Chris Ecob, Camfil’s Technical Director. “Of great significance is the fact that this standard has global applicability. And as if to reinforce that point, the decision-making was 100 percent voted positive by all countries around the world. Until now, there was no such global standard. In America, the ASHRAE 52.2 standard dominated, in Europe the EN 779 was dominant, and in Asia and the Middle East both standards dominated side by side.”

The ISO 16890 standard went into effect on December 1, 2016 and established new efficiency guidelines that replaced the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) standard as well as the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) standard. With different standards in effect, it was sometimes confusing for commercial air filter consumers to understand how to compare air filter efficiency rates in different countries.

“The new standard has some important benefits for specifiers and users of air filters together with the global air filter manufacturing industry,” added Ecob. “The standard is globally applicable and also invalidates attempts to compare results between existing standards. The standard will provide a level playing field for the air filter manufacturing industry. It will be easier to compare products on a level basis and make proper comparisons. In my opinion, this will serve to drive innovation and customer benefit. And at the other end of the scale, I believe it will serve to eliminate in the marketplace some of the low-performing products which probably shouldn’t be there.”

One of the biggest changes with the new ISO 16890 standard is that it requires air filter efficiency to be measured against fine particles that are sized at less than one micron. The standard requires that testing for fine particles be conducted when the air filter is new, and also repeated when any electrostatic charge on the filter has been removed or dissipated. The reason for the second test is that the presence of an electrostatic charge can artificially enhance air filter performance during testing in a laboratory. The second test ensures an accurate measurement of the air filter’s ability to eliminate the fine particles, which are most harmful to human health.

To learn more about the benefits of the new ISO 16890 standard, please read the blog published by Camfil, ISO 16890 Take a Breath Clean Air Is a Human Right.


Camfil is the world leader in air filtration and clean air solutions, with 23 production plants and R&D centers in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. For more information, visit us online at or call us toll-free at 888.599.6620.


Lynne Laake

Camfil USA Air Filters

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