01: What is the difference between N95 & FFP2 Masks?
N95 is an American safety standard (NIOSH) and the equivalent of the UK safety standard FFP2 mask. Only masks that have passed safety tests for the UK & stamped as FFP2 are allowed to be sold in the UK.
02: What are FFP2 Masks?
FFP2 is the UK & European protective standard with FFP2 protective masks providing protection against slightly toxic particulates or aerosols. These are available in two types, as either disposable FFP2 dust masks or reusable half masks with P2 filters. FFP2 provides a minimum filtration level of 94% with an APF Value 10. (APF Assigned Protection Factor)
03: What size particulates will FFP2 Respirator Masks protect against?
P2 masks will protect against particles between 2-5 microns in size such as cement dust, coarse clay dust as well as mould & mould spores for example.
04: What are FFP2 Face masks suitable for?
These provide protection for slightly toxic dust & aerosols such as grinding & cutting, softwood dust, welding, milling, coal, powdered pesticides & grain dust.
Applications may include sanding of softwood, metal drilling, plaster, composite materials, milling.
If a higher level of protection is required an FFP3 mask should be selected.
05: What is the difference in protection between FFP2 & FFP3 masks?
FFP2 (P2) is the mid-range protective level for protection against slightly toxic materials and protect against larger particle sizes between 2-5 microns & have an APF 10.
FFP3 masks provide the highest protective level available for respiratory masks in the UK & filter at least 99% of particles from 0.3 microns in size upwards & an APF 20.
06: Do FFP2 Masks protect against viruses?
Due to the very small size of the virus, a level of protection (APF 10) will be provided however a higher protective mask such as the FFP3 mask (APF 20) that is able to filter against smaller particle sizes (0.3 microns) is the recommended as the correct protection against viruses.
07: What are the best FFP2 masks available?
FFP2 is the standard of protection for respiratory masks & is available as either FFP2 disposable dust masks or as reusable half masks with P2 filters. There is no difference in protection between both types of face masks however an FFP2 dust mask will be lighter to wear on the face & a reusable mask has the flexibility to also combine filters to protect against fumes. FFP2 Dust masks are single-use so are disposed of after a single shift. A half mask with a P2 filter is reusable.
08: What are Reusable FFP2 masks?
Reusable FFP2 protective masks are available as a half mask (EN140) or a Full Face Mask (EN136) with the appropriate P2 level filter. The P2 filter will keep all fibers that have been filtered within the filter unit & just require changing when breathing resistance is encountered.
09: What examples of jobs would use an FFP2 Respirator?
Any job requiring the highest level of protection would require a P2 mask. Examples of jobs requiring FFP2 dust masks include Construction, demolition, metalworking & trades.
09: What is the difference between KN95 & FFP2?
KN95 is a Chinese standard & is not a safety standard recognized in the UK. It is illegal for KN95 masks to be sold in the UK. FFP2 is the UK & European safety standard and only masks that have passed the required safety tests can be marked as FFP2. If any FFP2 Face masks do not pass the UK & European standards they are illegal to be sold and will not provide the required protection.
10: How do you put on an FFP2 mask?
- Ensure hands are clean with soap & water
- Place the mask on the face & ensure that the nose & face are covered by the mask. Run the fingers down the side and bridge of the nose to mould to the nose
- Try not to keep touching the mask so that infected particles are not spread to the hands and face
- Replace the mask when it becomes damp/moist after an 8hr session.
11: How Long can you wear an FFP2 Face Mask?
P2 face masks could be worn for an 8hr session providing full FFP2 protection of 10 APF, however, it is recommended that breaks are taken hourly. The mask should be replaced if breathing becomes more difficult, the mask is damaged, or the mask is too damp.
12: Can you clean or wash an FFP2 face mask?
Disposable masks have not been tested to be cleaned with disinfectant or washed & are non-reusable. NR stands for non-reusable. Half masks with P2 filters are reusable & can be decontaminated.