Over the past year, face masks have become a vital part of our daily lives in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Different types of masks are available, including FFP2 and FFP3 masks. But, is an FFP3 mask better than FFP2? Let’s explore.
Firstly, let’s discuss what FFP stands for. FFP stands for ‘filtering facepiece respirator,’ and these masks are designed to protect against respiratory hazards like dust, smoke, and viruses. They work by filtering out airborne particles as you breathe in. FFP2 and FFP3 masks are both classified as filtering facepiece respirators, but there are some differences between them.
As per the European standard EN 149:2001, FFP2 masks filter at least 94% of airborne particles, while FFP3 masks filter at least 99% of airborne particles. It means that FFP3 masks provide better protection against airborne particles, but they are not always necessary.
The choice of mask depends on the risk assessment of the situation. In healthcare settings or for people working in close proximity to those infected with COVID-19, FFP3 masks may be more appropriate due to the potential exposure to airborne particles. However, for everyday use, FFP2 masks are sufficient and widely available in shops and online.
Another factor that may influence the choice between FFP2 and FFP3 masks is the availability and price. FFP3 masks are relatively expensive compared to FFP2 masks, and there may be a shortage of supply in some areas. It is essential to consider the availability and price of masks when making the decision.
One thing to note is that wearing a mask does not guarantee complete protection against airborne particles. It is essential to use the mask correctly and combine it with other measures, such as regular handwashing, social distancing, and avoiding crowded places.
FFP3 masks provide better protection against airborne particles than FFP2 masks, but they may only be necessary in specific situations such as healthcare settings or high-risk environments. For everyday use, FFP2 masks are appropriate and widely available. The choice of mask should be based on a risk assessment of the situation, considering availability and price, and combined with other measures to reduce the risk of infection.
Face masks are an essential tool in the fight against COVID-19. While FFP3 masks provide better protection against airborne particles, FFP2 masks are sufficient for everyday use and widely available. It is essential to use the mask correctly, combine it with other measures, and follow health guidelines to reduce the risk of infection. Let’s continue to stay safe and protect each other.