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Virus Protection or Just Dust Rated? Mask Ratings Guide

Which mask protects me from viruses,dust and bacteria?

Dust Masks protect workers against airborne particles such as dusts and powders. They are important for a range of construction, agricultural, pharmaceutical work and medical-related situations. Different masks provide different levels of protection, so it’s important to find the right level of protection for your workplace. EN 149 designates three dust mask ratings; FFP1, FFP2, and FFP3. You can find out more about these ratings below.

Update: Coronavirus - What is it and how does it spread?

Coronavirus is a respiratory infection with similar symptoms to the common cold. The illness mainly affects elderly people, young children and those who are already ill. Due to the nature in which coronavirus is spread, respiratory protection is vital. Coronavirus is spread through coughing or sneezing, passing on particles of the infection through the air.

How can I protect myself and avoid Coronavirus?

Respiratory masks are the best way to prevent the disease from spreading through the air via coughs or sneezes. Surgical masks are recommended to those who are more likely to contract or already have the infection to avoid spreading it further. Masks such as FFP3 and FFP2 masks are ideal for those who are not yet ill, or health care professionals taking precaution to not catch Coronavirus when working or being near those who may carry symptoms.

FFP1 Dust Masks - for sanding, drilling and cutting dust protection only

FFP1 Dust Masks protect against low levels of dust, as well as solid and liquid aerosols. It protects against materials in concentrations up to 4x occupational exposure limit (OEL) or 4x assigned protection factor (APF). FFP1 Dust Masks are suitable for hand sanding, drilling, and cutting and are not suitable for protection from viruses and bacteria

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FFP2 Dust Masks - suitable for virus protection

FFP2 Dust Masks protect against moderate levels of dust, as well as solid and liquid aerosols. FFP2 Dust Masks have a higher level of protection than FFP1 – FFP2 masks protect against materials in concentrations up to 12x OEL or 4x APF. FFP2 masks are ideal for plastering and sanding. This type of disposible mask are mainly used in construction, agriculture, and by healthcare professionals against influenza viruses.

3 Item(s)

FFP3 Dust Masks

FFP3 Dust Masks protect against higher levels of dust. They also protect against solid and liquid aerosols. FFP3 masks protect against materials in concentrations up to 50x OEL or 20x APF. FFP3 masks are suitable for handling hazardous powders, such as those found in the pharmaceutical industry.

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How to Use Dust Mask Ratings

It is important to consider the type and level of contaminants to which workers will be exposed. Once you have properly evaluated the airborne hazards in your workplace, you can begin to choose dust masks based on their FFP rating. The best dust mask for your workplace will be one that meets the appropriate FFP rating, and is comfortable and convenient for your workers. Here is a quick guide to the protection levels provided by different dust mask ratings:

Protection Level OEL Protection APF Protection
FFP1 4x 4x
FFP2 12x 10x
FFP3 50x 20x

Using FFP ratings you can decide on the protection required for your workplace. You can browse our wide range of Dust Masks to find exactly the product you need.


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