An FFP2 mask is a type of Respirator mask used across Europe including the UK (European Union Standard)
It is similar to N95 (USA standard) and KN95 (China standard) names used in their respective territories.
What is a FFP2 respirator?
Respirators are half masks that serve as a breathing barrier for the nose, mouth and chin.
An FFP2 is also a half mask which is designed to cover the nose, mouth and chin. It may or may not have exhalation valves.
The purpose of the valve is to prevent condensation inside the mask and halt misting on the glasses and helps the user to breathe easier.
Valves in the FFP2 masks are exhalation valves that are intended to filter the inhaled air only.
These valves open on exhalation, making breathing easier but also allowing contaminated expired air to escape in the surroundings.
However with all these advantages masks with valves are generally prohibited as they increase the amount of unfiltered air in the surrounding atmosphere, making it ineffective at preventing Covid-19 spread.
Filtration of FFP2 Mask
European standard of testing divides FFP respirators into FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 according to filtration efficiency.
FFP stands for Filtering Facepiece and number with it indicates level of filtration.
For instance, FFP1 provides filtration of 80%, FFP2- 94% and FFP3- 99%. Masks are also labelled R (reusable) or NR (non-reusable) suggesting single shift and multiple shift uses respectively.
FFP2 mask provides approximately around 94% filtration percentage making it highly recommended during these times and is majorly used by healthcare professionals, patients and the public.
Indication Printed on the Mask
A letter D in the mask indicates that the mask is positive for clogging test against dolomite dust that makes it capable of filtering dust particles, droplets, and aerosols.
FFP2 Respirator mask consists of 4 layers of non woven, non irritating and skin friendly fabric. These layers act as a barrier to germs and dust particles, fluid repellent and moisture absorbent.
Purpose of FFP2 Masks
The purpose of FFP2 masks is to provide the users maximum protection against respiratory viruses and bacteria, other biological agents, dust, fumes and aerosols.
These masks have proven to be effective in the control of ongoing Covid-19 transmission, if complied with properly.
How to Wear an FFP2 Mask?
Avoid touching masks multiple times as it loosens the fitting and place it over nose and mouth, adjust the nose wire over nose and pull the ear loops over ears with the help of the other hand.
Fix the mask accordingly.
Masks can be reused only if they are not damaged or/and are folded in such a way that the outer surface of the mask is held inward and folded against itself.
How Much Cost a FFP2 Respirator?
FFP2 respirator masks are more expensive than normal cloth and surgical masks, provided they are generally non reusable.