Shop Contact

ISO 16890: The New Global Standard for Air Filtration


Air filters significantly influence the indoor air quality and the health of people by reducing the concentration of particulate matter.

ISO 16890 was developed with the support of the international trade and manufacturing community to enable design engineers and maintenance personnel to choose the correct filter types based on a well-defined, common method of testing and classifying air filters according to their particle efficiencies, especially with respect to the removal of particulate matter.

The ISO 16890 standard measures air filters based on their capability to intercept different particulate sizes, giving better and more meaningful results compared to other standards.

One of the biggest advantages of this new standard is that it will bring a significant harmonization to the air filtration industry by eventually replacing regional standards (e.g. EN779, ASHRAE, MERV, BIA, etc.), that can be more easily understood by all stakeholders.

The Four Certification Groups

Air filter elements according to the ISO 16890 series are evaluated in the laboratory by their ability to remove aerosol particulate expressed as the efficiency values ePM1, ePM2,5 and ePM10.

The particulate removal efficiency of the filter element is measured as a function of the particle size in the range of 0,3µm to 10µm of the unloaded and unconditioned filter. After the initial particulate removal efficiency testing, the air filter element is conditioned and the particulate removal efficiency is repeated on the conditioned filter element. The average efficiency of the filter is determined by calculating the mean between the initial efficiency and the conditioned efficiency for each size range.

How Does it Work?

ISO 16890 expresses filter efficiencies based on the level of protection achieved against the size of the particulate matter (PM) in four categories: Coarse, ePM10, ePM2,5 and ePM1.

For example, PM 2,5 represents a particle size smaller or equal to 2.5 microns (μ). So, the Donaldson Ultra-Web® SB filter which can capture 73% of particles smaller or equal to 1μ - 79% of 2.5μ and 92% of 10μ particles has received the ISO ePM1 70% certification.*

Several other Donaldson filter media have different ISO 16890 standard testing results based on their own capture rate of the different particulate matter sizes.

For more information about specific filter media efficiencies, please contact your Donaldson sales representative.

We can help you get the optimal solution for your application.

*Based on non-pulsed test results. Please note that surface filtration media will become more efficient with pulse cleaning.