FFP Mask Meaning, Uses, and Levels of Protection

FFP masks are a critical piece of PPE that can protect their wearer from negative health effects
caused by continuously inhaling contaminated air into one’s respiratory system. Whether you
are consistently being exposed to contaminated air or infrequently enter hazardous
environments, safety precautions should always be taken.
In this article, we will discuss and explore an FFP mask’s meaning, uses, and the levels of
protection available.

FFP Meaning

The meaning of FFP is “Filtering Face Piece”. It is the official term that is used to refer to masks
that have been tested and are deemed suitable for protection against air that is contaminated
with fine particles. These particles can cause health issues should they be inhaled. Each FFP
mask is tested and awarded a level of protection, this level is indicated by the number located
after “FFP” thus when you see a mask marked as FFP2 or FFP3 you will be able to identify the
level of protection granted by that mask.

Levels of Protection and Their Uses

FFP masks can also be referred to as dust masks as they are exceptionally good at filtering a
variety of dust types. Some of the dust types that FFP2 dust masks are good at filtering include
sawdust, and metal dust as well as brick, cement, tile, and plaster dust. Some of the other
particles an FFP2 mask can filter include fungi, spores and fine paint particles.
In order to confirm the correct FFP is being used the “Occupation Exposure Limit” (OEL) must
be taken into consideration, the OEL is the acceptable time-weighted average concentration of
a hazardous substance in workplace air at which no acute or chronic harm is caused to
employees’ health. In determining this limit, it is assumed that an employee would be exposed
for eight hours per day, five days per week for the duration of their working life.

FFP2 Masks

FFP2 masks are a good investment if you are looking for a mask that will protect against a wide
variety of dust types. Some of the dust types that they are good at filtering include sawdust,
metal, plaster, tile, cement, and brick dust. They can also filter out certain spores, fungi, and fine
paint particles. Thus, these masks are appropriate for use on construction sites and other
environments that carry these particles. FFP2 masks also filter out 94% of harmful particles.
In order to confirm the correct FFP is being used the “Occupation Exposure Limit” (OEL) must
be taken into consideration, the OEL is the acceptable time-weighted average concentration of
a hazardous substance in workplace air at which no acute or chronic harm is caused to
employees’ health. In determining this limit, it is assumed that an employee would be exposed
for eight hours per day, five days per week for the duration of their working life.

FFP3 Masks

uvex has recently launched its respiratory mask range in South Africa. Their range includes
three variations of FFP2 masks including masks with and without respiratory valves. If you are
unsure of the type of respiratory mask you or your workers require in a certain environment, feel
free to contact uvex South Africa for more information.

FFP2 and FFP3 Disposable Masks

Both FFP2 and FFP3 masks are available as disposable masks. This means that they should
only be used once before being disposed of. The recommended maximum time to wear a
disposable mask is an eight-hour shift. This is due to the fact that the electrostatic charge that is
used to trap the harmful particles starts to dissipate and becomes less effective. A disposable
mask can be recognized by the “NR” Not Reusable mark that is visible on the mask.

Where to Find a Filtering Facepiece Mask

uvex South Africa has a range of FFP masks that are sure to provide its wearer with absolute
safety. The com4-air range includes masks with and without exhalation valves. Those that are
fitted with an exhalation valve have a reduced breathing resistance to ensure a higher level of
comfort and easier exhalation without compromising safety.
Contact uvex South Africa to find out more about which respiratory mask will be best suited to
the environment you work in.

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