What is a FFP3 mask?

FFP3 face masks are a “Filtering FacePiece” as defined in the EU by the EN 149 standard. As mechanical filters they are used in so called “respirators”, and more commonly just known as “FFP masks”. Although similar to N99 masks [insert article link], FFP3 masks have distinct features and follow a different regulatory standard. Read about the differences here [insert article link]. FFP3 offers the highest filtration of all FFP masks.

FFP3 masks are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as they protect the person wearing them against particulates such as dust particles, aerosols, and droplets.

FFP3 masks protect against very fine particles such as asbestos or ceramic. They don’t protect against gases and nitrogen oxide. They can also protect against respiratory viruses like avian influenza, Covid-19 or SARS.

According to the WHO and several health authorities, FFP3 masks are recommended primarily for health workers that are in regular contact with Covid-19, although FFP2 masks [insert article link] are fine as well.

FFP masks come in 3 types according to EN 149:2001+A1:2009:

Class

Filter penetration limit (at 95 L/min air flow)

Inward leakage

Typical Elastic Band

FFP1

Filters at least 80% of airborne particles

<22%

Yellow

FFP2

Filters at least 94% of airborne particles

<8%

Blue or White

FFP3

Filters at least 99% of airborne particles

<2%

Red

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