The FFP standards are mechanical filter standards used for protective respirator masks certified by the European Union. FFP-standard filters serve to protect against particulates such as dust particles, droplets, and aerosols.The EN 149 standard defines three classes of filter efficiency, namely FFP1FFP2 and FFP3.

FFP filters are considered functionally equivalent to certain other filter standards regulated under other jurisdictions, such as N95 mask of the United States and KN95 filters of China. However, slightly different criteria are used to certify their performance, such as the filter efficiency, test agent and flow rate, and permissible pressure drop.

This article is about the European standards only. For information on other standards, on mechanical air filters in general, and the types of respirators which meet the FFP standards, see mechanical filter respirator. For more detailed information on items made to FFP standards, see the appropriate article: some FFP masks are filtering facepiece respirators (disposable) and some are elastomeric respirators (reusable).


FFP1 mask

FFP1 mask

It is the least filtering mask of the three.

It is mainly used as a dust mask (for example for DIY jobs). Dust can cause lung diseases, such as silicosisanthracoseasbestosis and siderose (in particular dust from coalsilicairon orezincaluminum or even cement).

FFP2 mask

FFP2 masks with exhalation valve

  • Aerosol filtration percentage: Not less than 94%.
  • Internal leak rate: Maximum 8%.

This mask offers protection in various areas such as the glass industry, foundryconstructionpharmaceutical industry and agriculture. It effectively stops powdered chemicals. This mask can also serve as protection against respiratory viruses such as avian influenzaCOVID-19 or severe acute respiratory syndrome associated with the coronavirus (SARS), as well as against the bacteria of pneumonic plague and tuberculosis. It is similar to the N95 mask.

FFP3 mask[edit]

FFP3 mask with exhalation valve

  • Aerosol filtration percentage: Not less than 99%.
  • Internal leak rate: Maximum 2%

The FFP3 mask is the most filtering of the FFP masks. It protects against very fine particles such as asbestos and ceramic. It does not protect against gases and in particular nitrogen oxide.

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