N95 face mask - 1, 2, 20, 50 or 100 packs from £3.50
As face masks become more and more prevalent it’s smart to consider how much protection different types of mask can offer.
FFP2 and FFP3 masks (the “FFP” bit stands for “filtering facepiece”) can be made by different manufacturers, but in order to carry these certifications, they must perform to specific minimum standards under testing as set out in the catchily-named “EN149:2001” document.
This is an EU standard which has fairly similar counterparts in other regions. As such, the FFP3 standard is often considered broadly equivalent to the US N99 standard and the Chinese KN99 standard. Similarly, the FFP2 standard is often considered broadly equivalent to the US N95 standard and the Chinese KN95 standard.
|Conforms to||EUROPE: EN 149:2001+A1:2009||EUROPE: EN 149:2001+A1:2009|
|Minimum filter efficiency requirement||94%||99%|
|Filter efficiency tested using||Sodium chloride and paraffin oil||Sodium chloride and paraffin oil|
|Filter efficiency test flow rate||95l/min||95l/min|
|Filter efficiency test particle diameter||0.3 microns (approx.)||0.3 microns (approx.)|
|Maximum total inward leakage requirement||8%||2%|
|Maximum permitted inhalation resistance||
0.7mbar at 30l/min
2.4mbar at 95l/min
1.0mbar at 30l/min
3.0mbar at 95l/min
|Maximum permitted exhalation resistance||3.0mbar at 160l/min||3.0mbar at 160l/min|
Through tougher testing requirements for factors such as filtering efficiency, FFP3 masks offer a greater degree of protection than FFP2 masks – and that’s with minimal impact on breathability. The higher the FFP rating, the more protection the mask affords the wearer.
Consider the fit of any mask before you buy. FFP2 masks may have simple, thin, behind-the-ear loops while a good FFP3 mask should have a thicker, adjustable pair of head bands, offering a better seal.
The NHS has specified FFP3 masks for its staff as part of their personal protective equipment (PPE). The World Health Organization has advised that healthcare workers “should use a particulate respirator at least as protective as a US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-certified N95, European Union (EU) standard FFP2, or equivalent”.
Chemist 4 U
KN95 masks from £2.99
Shop individually wrapped KN95 masks from Chemist 4 U. T&Cs apply.
N95 and respirator masks
Shop the range of masks and respirators at Amazon. Hurry and snap up an amazing deal right now. T&Cs apply.
KN95 masks stop 95% of 0.3 micron particles! Easier to get a good fit than surgical masks.
KN95 masks - Individually wrapped
Shop KN95 masks at Chemist Direct and enjoy fast shipping. T&Cs apply.
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