FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
01: What size particulates will FFP2 Respirators protect against?
FFP2 Respirators will provide protection against particulate / vapour particles as low as between 2-5 microns in size.
02: What masks will protect against Mould & Mould spores?
Mould is between 3-12 microns in size & Mould spores larger, between 10-30 microns. FFP2 masks will filter down to particulate sizes between 2-5 microns in size providing good protection against both mould & mould spores.
03: What is the difference between an N95 & FFP2 Masks?
FFP2 masks are the equivalent protective grade of the N95 face masks. FFP is the EN 149 European safety standard required for UK disposable masks so FFP dust masks must be marked as FFP2 to prove they have reached the UK standard. N95 is the American safety standard (NIOSH) however these masks are not legally allowed to be sold in the UK.
04: What are FFP2 Masks?
FFP2 masks can be either a disposable FFP2 dust mask or a reusable Half mask with P2 filter (a P2 Mask) . FFP2 masks will provide a minimum filtration level of 94% & total inward leakage of 8%. The masks should have head straps only so that the mask fitting can be adjusted & a correct facial seal attained. FFP2 respirators will provide an APF 10 (Assigned Protection Factor)
05: What are FFP2 masks suitable for?
FFP2 masks will protect against particle sizes as low as 2-5 microns as either slightly toxic solid or liquid aerosols.
Applications may include metal drilling, plaster, milling, grinding & cutting, powdered pesticides & grain dusts.
If a higher level of protection is required or the hazard is toxic an FFP3 mask should be selected due to the higher level of filtration provided & the ability to protect against smaller particle sizes as low as .03 microns.
06: What is the difference in protection between FFP2 & FFP3 masks?
The higher the FFP rating the higher level of the protection is provided by the face mask.
FFP2 (2) Mask Protection:
- Protects against slightly toxic materials
- Micron Size 2-5 microns
- Filtration Level Minimum 94% & 8% inward leakage
- Protective level APF 10 (Assigned Protection Level)
FFP3 (3) Mask Protection:
- Protects against toxic materials
- Micron Size 0.3 microns
- Filtration Level Minimum 99% & 2% inward leakage
- Protective level APF 20 (Assigned Protection Level)
FFP3 masks are the highest protective level available for respiratory masks in the UK.
07: Do FFP2 Masks protect against viruses?
Viruses are very small in size circa 0.3 microns & therefore FFP2 masks would only provide limited protection. A higher FFP rated mask such as the FFP3 mask is required which has a higher filtering capacity minimum 99% & filters smaller particle sizes 0.3 microns. (Virus)
08: What are the best FFP2 masks available?
FFP2 masks can are available as disposable fold flat FFP2, Moulded FFP2 or reusable FFP2 masks. The three different masks provide the same level of protection APF 10 & are designed to be worn for 8 hour sessions.
Which is the best FFP2 mask is dependent on your preference. FFP2 disposable dust masks are single use masks & lighter to wear however won’t protect against gas vapours whereas a reusable fFP2 mask can be combined with fume filters to provide combined protection.
The best FFP2 mask is therefore dependent on both the hazard encountered and whether a single use or a reusable mask is preferable.
09: What are the best FFP2 masks available?
FFP2 is the standard of protection for respiratory masks & are available as either FFP2 disposable dusts masks or as reusable half masks with P2 filters. There is no difference in protection between both types of face mask 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 single shift. A half mask with P2 filter is a reusable.
10: What jobs need FFP2 masks?
Any job where protection against slightly toxic hazards would require a P2 mask. Examples of jobs requiring
FFP2 dust masks include Construction, demolition, metal working & trades.
11: What is the difference between KN95 & FFP2?
KN95 is a Chinese standard & not recognised within the UK. It is important that all masks sold within the UK pass the European safety standard. Masks that are safe & provide the desired protection will be marked with their FFP grade such as FFP2. Masks not marked correctly have not passed the UK & European standards & are not only illegal to be sold in th UK but will not provide the required protection. Any N95 masks should be reported to trading standards & the HSE (Health & Safety Executive)
12: What is the difference between FFP2 and p2 masks?
FFP2 masks & P2 masks provide the same level of protection with 94% minimum filtration level & 10x APF. FFP2 masks (EN 149) are disposable masks, A P2 mask will be a reusable mask with P2 filter. The P2 mask could either be a half mask or a full face mask with P2 filter.0
13: How do I put on an FFP2 face mask?
- Wash hands 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
- If the face mask becomes damp/moist of after an 8hr session, the mask should be replaced
14: How Long can you wear an FFP2 Face Mask?
FFP2 face masks can be worn for 8hr sessions providing full FFP2 protection of 10 APF. If breathing becomes difficult, if the mask is damaged, or the mask becomes damp it should be replaced.
15: Can you clean or wash an FFP2 dust mask?
Disposable FFP2 dust masks have not been tested to be cleaned with disinfectant or washed. They are single use, non-reusable. NR stands for non-reusable. If a reusable FFP2 mask is required, half masks with P2 filters are reusable with both the mask & filter cleanable.