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Norms and standards for mouth and nose protection and respiratory masks

May 20, 2022

Depending on the country, different norms and standards apply to mouth and nose protection and respiratory masks.

The following overview shows the most relevant norms and standards relating to the three product categories "Single Use Face Mask", "Mouth and Nose Protection" and "Filtering Face Piece":

001

Mouth and Nose Protection

A mouth and nose protection, also known as a surgical mask, is mainly intended to protect against droplets from the nasopharynx of the wearer. The wearer himself or herself is only protected against larger splashes by the mask.

The testing and classification of mouth and nose protection products in Europe is based on the measurement of the Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) and Respiratory Resistance according to DIN EN 14683:2014. In China and the USA, the masks are also tested and classified by their Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE).

Compared to a filtering face piece, a mouth and nose protection has a lower breathing resistance and often do not fit tightly enough so that breathing past them is possible. mouth and nose protection types marked with an "R" have a higher resistance to liquids and aerosols

002

Filtering Face Piece

Filtering Face Pieces (FFP) cover nose and mouth and protect against respirable dust, smoke and liquid mist (aerosol). The protective function of respiratory masks is standardized throughout Europe according to DIN EN 149:2009 and is divided the masks into the protection classes FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3.:

Decisive for the classification is the total leakage of the mask. This results from the filtration efficiency against particles (>0.6 µm) and the leakage between the mask frame and the wearer's face. As the protective effect and thus the tightness increases, so does the breathing resistance of the mask.

003

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