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What do respirators protect against?

Protection classes of particle-filtering half masks (FFP = filtering facepiece):

FFP1:

  • Protection against non-toxic and non-fibrogenic dust up to 4 times the limit value.
  • Inhalation does not lead to the development of diseases but may irritate the respiratory tract and cause odor nuisance.
  • Total leakage must not exceed 25 %.
  • Filter at least 80 % of airborne particles up to a size of 0.6 μm
  • In construction or in the food industry, respirators of class FFP1 are usually sufficient.

FFP2:

  • Protection against solid and liquid harmful dust, smoke, and aerosols up to 10 times the limit value.
  • Particles may be fibrogenic, which means that they cause short-term irritation of the respiratory tract and a long-term decrease in the elasticity of the lung tissue.
  • Total leakage must not exceed 11 %.
  • They must capture at least 94 % of airborne particles up to 0.6 μm in size.
  • FFP2 protection class respirators are used, for example, in the metal industry or also in mining.

FFP2 protection class respirators are suitable for working environments in which harmful and mutagenic substances are present in the air breathed.

FFP2 Respiratory mask

FFP3:

  • Protection against toxic and harmful dust, smoke, and aerosols up to 30 times the limit value.
  • Respirators of protection class FFP3 offer the greatest possible protection against respiratory air pollution.
  • Carcinogenic and radioactive pollutants and pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and fungal spores are filtered by this protection class.
  • Total leakage must not exceed 5 %.
  • Protection of at least 99 % against particles up to 0.6 μm in size.
  • Use in the chemical industry, for example.

 

Classification of gas and particle filters:

Different identification colors and letters are used to identify the gas and particle filters and their areas of application.

  A (identification colour brown)     Against organic gases and vapors, e.g. solvents such as turpentine, nitro thinner, gasoline, per, toluene, xylene, with boiling point > 65 °C

  B (identification colour grey)       Against inorganic gases and vapors such as chlorine, bromine, hydrogen sulfide, etc.

  E (identification colour yellow)        Against acid gases and vapors such as sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, etc.

  K (identification colour green)     Against ammonia and organic amines, such as dimethylamine, etc.

  AX (identification colour brown)   Against low-boiling organic compounds with a boiling point ≤ 5 °C

  Hg (identification colour red)        Against mercury

  P (identification colour white)        Against particles

 

Filter type Filter class Protection against

Maximum permissible
pollutant concentration

Gas filter   Gases and vapors

half masks

full-face masks**

     Concentration:

30 x

 400 x

but maximum:

  1  small    0.1 vol. % (1000 ppm)*
  2  medium   0.5 vol. % (5000 ppm)*
  3  large    1.0 vol. % (10.000 ppm)*
Particle filter  

Particle

 
  1  small 4 x limit value**
  2  medium

10 x

15 x

  3  large

30 x

400 x

Combination filter

 

Gases, vapors, particles

 
  1-P2

 Corresponding combination of gas and particulate filter

Corresponding combination values
  2-P2
  1-P3
  2-P3


*Values are taken from European Standard EN 14387
** Values are taken from BGR 19

Other national and local guidelines must be observed.

Example filter type:

A2B2-P3 

This filter is suitable for use against:
A
Gases and vapors of organic compounds with a boiling point higher than 65 °C up to concentrations of filter class 2 (max. 5000 ppm) and
B
gases and vapors of inorganic substances such as chlorine, hydrogen sulfide and hydrocyanic acid up to concentrations of filter class 2 (max. 5000 ppm) and
P
particulates up to filter class 3 concentrations.

Source: 
www.dräger.com