Dust mask - FFP1, FFP2, FFP3 disposable masks

The FFP dust mask (Filtering Face Piece) , more commonly known as a disposable mask, is a somewhat special respiratory protection device used both by individuals and professionals against fine solid or liquid particles (aerosols), viruses and bacteria. . Unlike conventional equipment - which uses filter cartridges - it is disposable and the entire facepiece is made of filter materials. This is the first level of respiratory protection with an attractive protection / comfort / price ratio but only protects the user against particles. It cannot therefore be worn if gases or toxic vapors are present in ambient air.

The 2001 version of the EN149 standard defines 3 protection classes (FFP1, FFP2 or FFP3) based on the maximum penetration value of the media towards the interior or the proportion of particles that the mask lets through: class FFP1 "not very filtering» Stops at least 78% of particles, class FFP2 «intermediate» stops 92% of particles and class FFP3 "the most filtering of the 3" stops 98% of particles and therefore to be preferred for very fine dust such as asbestos ( level 1), viruses or bacteria (such as H1N1, avian influenza or the coronavirus). All the FFP masks offered on our site greatly exceed the values ​​set by this standard, ranging from 94% for FFP2 to 99.97% particle filtration for FFP3 masks.

The expiratory valve is a very important element in terms of respiratory comfort and hygiene. It allows the evacuation of hot and moist exhaled air, preventing heat build-up under the mask and any condensation, allowing the user to remain in a cool and comfortable environment. However, in case of pandemics such as the coronavirus (covid-19), the valve device - admittedly comfortable - can release aerosols emitted by the wearer into ambient air and potentially contaminate those nearby. As a result some manufacturers have developed increasingly comfortable equipment with an FFP3 filtration level without any valve, such as the FFP3 F31000 mask - sterilizable and therefore reusable - offering maximum protection with minimum respiratory resistance.

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FFP1 dust masks

It is the first level of protection (stops 78% of particles minimum), they are more suitable against dust and particles of intermediate sizes such as silica, coal, soft wood or filings of iron metals. They are suitable for DIY and occasional small dusty woodwork jobs .

Activity sector Activity Type of particles
Crafts, DIY, handiwork Miscellaneous works CWood chips, metals, dust and fibers
Construction Foundations, concrete handling, insulation work Concrete dust, fiberglass
Metal processing Sawing, drilling Metallurgical dust
Metal processing Drilling Metallurgical dust

FFP2 dust masks

It is the intermediate level of protection (stops 92% of particles at least), they are more suitable against fine particles such as sanding dust (wood, metals), fog and aerosol paint and some mushroom pores. They are particularly popular in sandblasting, grinding and spraying applications.

Classic FFP2 dust masks

Activity sector Activity Type of particles
Woodworking Sanding, paint stripping Fine particles, wood dust Fine paint particles
Metal treatment Stripping, grinding, sanding, soldering, welding, painting Rust, corrosion and metal dust, sand and dust, welding fumes, paint particles, spray varnish
Construction / demolition Building Metallurgical dust
Metal treatment Drilling Dust from concrete, plaster, rock wool and tiles, fine dust from plaster

FFP2 odor-free masks

The FFP2 version (intermediate protection blocks a minimum 92% of particles) with an additional layer of activated carbon is able to trap organic vapor smells.

Activity sector Activity Type of particles
Crafts woodworking Glues, paint, varnish, aerosols
Waste disposal Dusty environments cleaning, floor sweeping, waste & wastewater disposal Smelling dusts, bacteria, fungi

FFP3 masks

It is the highest level of protection (stops a minimum 98% of particles), they are ideal against very fine particles like asbestos (level 1), ceramic fibers, viruses (avian flu, H1N1 flu, etc.) and bacteria. They are popular for all work generating very fine particles (asbestos removal, medical waste, metallurgical fumes, etc.). It is the most effective protection class and therefore to be preferred.

Activity sector Activity Type of particles
Woodworking Wood coloring (dye containing copper or chromium) Paint mist
Construction, mining Zinc, aluminum, stainless steel, manual arc welding Metallurgical oxide fumes
Waste disposal Medical waste Virus, bacteria
Epidemics Personal protection Virus, bacteria