Disposable Face Masks

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What type of face mask do I require in my workplace?

It is important to select a face mask with the right level of protection for the application you are using it for. This is commonly known as the 'protection factor' this is usually done once an adequate risk assesment has been carried out.

The European Standard EN 529:2005 shows how to select the correct face mask based on this risk assessment. This standard indicates the “protection factor” which is by definition the parameter that expresses the ratio between the concentration of the contaminant in the environment and its concentration inside the breathing apparatus.

An important distinction concerns the nominal protection factor (NPF) and the assigned protection factor (APF). The nominal protection factor (NPF) is a number derived from the maximum percentage of total loss (towards the inside of the face mask) allowed by European standards.

The assigned protection factor (APF) is the level of respiratory protection that one can realistically expect in the workplace by 95% of the PPE users.

Furthermore, an important reference for choosing the right face mask is the Threshold Limit Value (TLV), or rather the “exposure limit value”, which indicates the environmental concentrations of airborne chemicals below which most workers can remain repeatedly exposed to day after day for their working life without any negative effect on their health.

Nominal Protection Factor (NPF) Filtering Face Pieces (FFP) Classifications

Filter Class FFP1

  • NPF - 4
  • Max Concentration Level - 4 x TLV

Filter Class FFP2

  • NPF - 12
  • Max Concentration Level - 12 x TLV

Filter Class FFP3

  • NPF - 50
  • Max Concentration Level - 50 x TLV

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Company Registration: 07988136 Registered Office: Olympic House, Collett, Southmead Park, Didcot, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, OX11 7WB


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