This is a question many people ask especially when it comes to safety reasons: Do you know what the difference between a face mask and a respirator is? Keep reading!
What Is A Face Mask?
A face mask is a loose-fitting mask that not require fit testing. It covers both the nose and mouth area. They have 2 ear loops that stretch around the ears to hold the mask in place.
Face masks are designed to be used as fluid resistants and they provide the wearer protection against large droplets, splashes, or other hazardous fluids that might spread to the environment.
Typically face masks have less protection assigned to them comparing to face respirators and are not NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) approved.
They are Disposable and recommended as a precautionary measure to protect the people around you.
What Is A Face Respirator?
A face respirator is a tight-fitting mask that creates kind of an “impervious face mask”.
Each respirator, when used properly, will create a facial seal that will filters out at least 95% of airborne particles including large and small particles.
It requires a fit testing check and ideally should be discarded after each patient encounter.
And, unlike face masks, respirators are evaluated, tested, and approved by NIOSH.
What Does FFP Stand For Mask?
FFP stands for filtering face piece. Generally, dust masks bear the code FFP which shows what and how many particles of suspended dust, mist, or fibers are filtered.
The mask is a half-face mask, meaning that it protects the chin, nose, and mouth. It must meet certain standards and effectiveness tests assessed by the filtration as well as the degree of leakage around the edges.
What Are Meanings For FFP1, FFP2, FFP3?
The European standard EN 149 classes 3 types of particle-filtering half masks: FFP1, FFP2, and FFP3 according to performance and levels of protection they offer for the wearer.
A convenient mask that follows the regulations must have its class written on it, along with the name of the standard and its year of publication, as well as any applicable option codes.
Even though the EN 149 standard does not specify any coding colors, some manufactures use in addition to the information provided before different elastic band colors to distinguish the mask class and make it easier for the wearer to identify the type of masks.