Your questions answered on disposable masks!

What is the difference between FFP2 and FFP3 Masks?

FFP stands for ‘Filtering Facepiece’, and the number refers to the protection level of the respiratory mask. The higher the number, the more efficiently the mask filters particles such as dust or airborne liquid particles from the air. Therefore P3 masks may be used against more harmful substances and at higher concentrations than P2 masks.


 Can FFP Masks be Cleaned, Disinfected and Reused?

The European safety standard EN 149 provides for two types of FFP respirators:

  • FFP masks labelled “NR” (non reusable) are intended for single use for an 8-hour shift.
  • FFP masks labelled “R” (reusable) can be reused. They have a sealing lip that can be cleaned and disinfected.

Important: When handling radioactive and airborne biological agents (including the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2), FFP respiratory masks may only be used once or for a maximum of one work shift, irrespective of the labelling.


What about the fit of FFP masks?


What function does an exhalation valve have?

An Exhalation valve is an additional comfort feature, that opens when you breathe out and remains tightly closed when you breathe in, thus allowing the warm and humid exhaled air to escape directly from the respirator. This ensures a more pleasant climate inside the mask and exhalation is easier. Since an exhalation valve releases the exhaled air of the wearer into the environment unfiltered, masks with a valve only protect the wearer themselves and not their surroundings.

Exhalation valve = greater comfort for the wearer!


How can I be sure that an FFP Mask is certified?

FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 respirators must meet the test requirements of the European Standard (EN) 149:2001+A1:2009. If all test criteria, such as filter performance and the fit of the mask are met, the respirator can be certified in accordance with EU Regulation (EU)2016/425.

The following points are to be met by certified FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 respirators:

  • The following information is printed on the product: the CE mark with the four-digit identification number of the certification body, the FFP protection level, the EN standard, the manufacturer’s name and the product number
  • The product packaging contains a declaration of conformity by the manufacturer or a link to a corresponding online version.
  • The manufacturer can present an EU type examination certificate on request.

You can be assured that all PPE in our range adheres to the correct UK standard!


Warning: Selection of the most appropriate respiratory protective equipment (RPE) will depend on the particular situation and should be made only by a competent person with knowledge of the actual working conditions and the limitations of RPE. Details regarding performance and limitations are set out on the respirator package and user instructions. Before using any of these respirators, the wearer must read and understand the user instructions for each product. Specific country legislation must be observed.

E&OE. Please contact us if you require any further information about masks – disposable or otherwise!




(Information credits: Moldex & UltimateIndustrial)