Why you need to choose an FFP3 mask?

Welcome to our complete dossier on air pollution, with today's focus on FFP3 masks.

At R-PUR, we believe that a comprehensive understanding of ambient air quality and the tools available to us would help change attitudes more quickly.

The COVID-19 requires great health precautions from the whole world. That's why we wanted to explain to you in simple terms why an FFP3 mask will be the most protective, and where it fits among the different types of protective masks.

Where do FFP3 masks fit among the different categories of masks?

The FFP3 standard is the highest European standard available today. It should be noted that Europe has the highest health requirements in the world.

In short, the FFP3 standard is the most demanding standard in the world when it comes to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) masks.

What about the others? Let's decipher.

Category 1, 2, surgical, what does it mean?

We use the denominations Category 1 and Category 2 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.

These categories were created at the same time as the COVID-19 health crisis. They are also called "barrier masks". The aim is to differentiate between the two, according to their performance.

They meet the European standard S76.

- The masks of category 1 have a filtration rate of 90%.

- The masks of category 2 have a filtration rate of 70%.

When we talk about these barrier masks, we are talking about masks made of more or less filtering fabrics, either homemade or sold by textile professionals (the classic Zara, H&M, and even certain luxury brands).

At the time of writing, the second category of this S76 standard is not recommended by the government.

Surgical masks do not fall into either category.

Judged on their bacterial filtration efficiency, they meet the EN14683 standard, and not the S76 standard.

These different categories of masks are evaluated on their efficiency (in other words, their filtration capacity).

But what about their airtightness? That's where the FFP standard comes in.

FFP What?

FFP stands for Filtering FacePiece. 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.

For this reason, FFP masks guarantee better protection and must also be perfectly fitted to your face.

What are FFP1, FFP2, and FFP3 masks?

FFP masks are numbered from 1 to 3, depending on their effectiveness:

- FFP1 masks filter out 80% of particles and have an airtightness of about 78%.

- The FFP2 masks filter 94% of the particles and have a hermeticity of approximately 92%.

- FFP3 masks filter 99% of particles and have a hermeticity of about 98%.

Let's now focus specifically on FFP3 masks, which are the most effective in all respects.

FFP3 masks are both effective and airtight masks.

The importance of airtightness when wearing a FFP3 mask.

What is the internal leakage rate, and why is it a criterion in the classification of a mask?

Let's imagine a mask with a filtration rate of 100%. It would be the most efficient mask in the world! Now imagine that half of the air you breathe in 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 the outside, and which would not have had the opportunity to be filtered beforehand. Finally, your mask would only be half effective.

This is why the shape of your face is important: depending on the shape of your face, the airtightness may vary slightly.

Once properly positioned, what can a 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 the more or less fine particles present in the air. They are 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.

PM distribution

Where to 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 can be replaced after 5 to 15 weeks of daily use, depending on your exposure to air pollution and your level of comfort.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)