Welcome to our complete file on air pollution, with today a focus on FFP3 masks.
At R-PUR, we are convinced that a global understanding of the quality of the ambient air and of the tools available would make it possible to change mentalities more quickly.
COVID-19 requires great health precautions from around the world. This is why we were keen to explain to you simply why an FFP3 mask will be the most protective, and where it is among the different types of protective masks.
Where do FFP3 masks stand among the different categories of masks?
The FFP3 standard is today the highest European standard that exists . It should be noted that Europe has the highest sanitary requirements in the world.
To sum up, the FFP3 standard is the most demanding standard in the world when it comes to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) type masks.
What about the others? Decryption.
Category 1, 2, surgical, what does that mean?
The denominations Category 1 and Category 2 are used according to the filtration rate of a mask. As a reminder, the filtration rate of a mask corresponds to the percentage of particles that will be filtered by your mask.
Note that these categories were born at the same time as the COVID-19 health crisis. They are also called “barrier masks”. The goal is to differentiate between the two, according to their performance.
The latter comply with European standard S76 .
- Category 1 masks have a filtration rate of 90% .
- Category 2 masks have a rate of 70% filtration.
When we talk about these barrier masks, we are talking about more or less filtering fabric masks, homemade or sold by textile professionals (the classics Zara, H&M, and even some luxury brands).
At the time of writing, the second category of this S76 standard is not recommended by the government.
Surgical masks, them do not fall into either of these two categories.
Judged on their filtration efficiency bacterial, they meet the EN14683 standard, and not the S76 standard.
These different categories of masks are evaluated on their effectiveness (in other words, their filtration capacity).
But what about their tightness? This is where the FFP standard comes in.
FFP stands for Filtering FacePiece, or literally “Filtering Face Piece”. Unlike category 1 and 2 masks, a mask with the FFP1, 2 or 3 standard is judged not only on its filtration rate, but also on its airtightness .
It is for this reason that FFP protective masks guarantee you better protection and must also fit perfectly to your face.
What are FFP1, FFP2, and FFP3 masks?
FFP protective masks are numbered from 1 to 3, according to their effectiveness:
- FFP1 masks filter 80% of particles and have an airtightness of around 78%.
- FFP2 masks filter 94% of particles and have an airtightness of around 92%.
- FFP3 masks filter 99% of particles and have an airtightness of around 98%.
Now let's focus specifically on FFP3 masks, which are the most effective on all counts.
FFP3 masks are both effective and airtight masks.
The importance of hermeticity in wearing the FFP3 mask.
What is the internal leak rate, and why is it a criterion in the classification of a mask?
Imagine a mask with a filtration rate of 100%. It would be the most effective mask in the world! Now imagine that half of the air you inhale does not pass through this mask but through the sides of your face.
As for the remaining half, it would be air coming directly from outside, and which would not have had the opportunity to be filtered beforehand. Ultimately, your mask would only be half effective.
This is why the morphology of your face is important: depending on the shape of your face, the tightness may vary slightly.
Once well positioned, what can an FFP3 mask filter?
The minimum filtration rate required to have the FFP3 classification is 99%.
But concretely, 99% of what?
We are talking here about more or less fine particles present in the air. They are also classified according to their size. These masks will therefore filter coarse particles (PM10), fine particles (PM2.5), and even finer particles (PM0.4).
Do not hesitate to read our article on PM2.5 if you want to know more.
Where can I find reusable FFP3 masks?
You are in the right place ! Our mask, guaranteed for life, is equipped with an interchangeable filter.
On average, the filter should be replaced after 5 to 15 weeks of daily use, depending on your exposure to air pollution and your usage. It is thanks to our dedicated mobile application that we estimate when to replace our filter.
Our filter is also 10 x more efficient than the FFP3 standard, why? Let's take a closer look at R-PUR technology, capable of filtering nanometric particles never filtered by a mask before.
Nano®: filtration 10x more efficient than the highest European standard.
At R-PUR, our masks have a 100% filtration rate . But what does this difference of 1% bring you?
- Thanks to our two so-called nanofiltration layers, we filter out nanoparticles reaching a size of 50 nanometers (PM0.05).
- Thanks to our layer of activated carbon, we act against odors and gases such as Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).
For more information, go to our Our technologies tab.
More and more studies, such as this study conducted by the National Cancer Institute , tend to show that nanoparticles present the greatest health risks.
Indeed, they are so fine that they cross the pulmonary alveoli, and are found in our blood and our organism. The body is not able to eliminate them, which will eventually result in heart and brain problems.
Is our mask effective against Covid-19?
We filter particles up to 50 nanometers in size. We therefore filter out the majority of existing viruses.
In the current case of Coronavirus, the R-PUR mask will be able to protect you effectively by reducing the risk of contamination. In addition to the protective capacity, we also take into account the airtightness component, which will make it your most effective ally against the spread.