Comfortably breathing clean, safe air while working on a job is important. With a varying levels of protection available on the market, we’ve put together this guide to help you to choose the best disposable mask for the job.
Disposable face masks or protective respiratory equipment is widely used to offer protection against inhaling harmful airborne dust particles during activities like building construction, decorating and maintenance work. They generally require no cleaning or maintenance.
They are available in three classes: FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3, which stands for “Filtering Face Pieces”. This is an indication of the protection that you can get if the respirator is a good fit and you use it correctly. With higher numbers corresponding to better filtering efficiency they can reduce the amount of dust you breathe by factors of 4, 10 and 20 respectively. As with all types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sold in the UK, they must comply with the EU PPE Directive 89/686/EEC.
Even if you have all this information, finding a suitable respirator is not simply a matter of choosing a model you like the look of, or the cheapest. Not all human faces are the same and the same can be said about disposable respirators. For face mask products to work properly and do their job it’s important to choose a mask that is has the most appropriate FFP rating, is certified and importantly great fit.
Premier Face Masks from Filltite combine ergonomic design for comfort and a good fit, with proprietary technologies, that help deliver easier breathing and comfortable protection against particle hazards. All Premier face masks are CE marked, certified under EN 149:2001+A1:2009 and are colour coded so that it’s easy to identify which FFP class they fall into.
Depending on the type of work you are undertaking choose a FFP rating that meets the type of dust particles that you expect to encounter.
Disposable FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 face masks are designed to filter out dust particles only. They must not be used where there is an oxygen-deficient atmosphere or harmful gases and vapours.
FFP1 = Blue
FFP2 = Green
FFP3 = Yellow
Additionally an FFP rating may carry a suffix to designate additional features. All Filltite Premier masks are rated FFPx RD (where x signals 1, 2 or 3). This means that they meet clogging resistance requirements and are reusable.
FFP Suffix Designations:
R = Reusable
NR = Non reusable (single shift use only)
D = Meets the clogging resistance requirements
Finally, every time that you wear a face mask you should carry out a pre-use check. Always make sure that its fitted according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure that straps are correctly adjusted, then hold the mask in place and breathe in or out sharply. You should make adjustments to the fitting if you detect any leakage around your face or if your glasses steam up when you breathe out.