FFP2 is a standard of the European Union. There are two categories of EU masks: personal protective masks and medical masks. The European standard for personal protective masks is EN149, which divides masks into three categories: FFP1/FFP2/FFP3. FFP1 masks require a filtration efficiency of no less than 80% for both oily and non-oily particles. If the filtration efficiency is slightly lower, the protective effect will be greatly reduced in the current epidemic situation.
FFP2 masks require a filtration efficiency of no less than 94% for both oily and non-oily particles. FFP3 masks require a filtration efficiency of no less than 99% for both oily and non-oily particles. As FFP3 masks have high requirements, FFP2 mask certification has become a market access certificate that mask manufacturers in China who intend to export to Europe are very eager to obtain.
FFP2 masks are one of the European mask standards EN149:2001. Their function is to adsorb harmful aerosols, including dust, smoke, mist, toxic gases and fumes, and block them from being inhaled by humans through filtration materials. The answer is it is very difficult. According to reports, there are about 8,000 mask manufacturers in China, but FFP2 masks with certifications are rare. In addition to factors such as high testing fees, testing locations in Europe, and long process time, the testing standards are very strict, which discourages many mask manufacturers. The high standards of the FFP2 mask filtration efficiency test and breathing resistance test are illustrated below.
Both European and American protective masks are tested using the TSI-8130 Automated Filter Testers instrument, with the American standard using the NaCl method for the N class and the DOP method for the R class, and the European standard using the DOP method. The European test uses DOP oil dust, with a particle diameter of 0.33 microns for the mean diameter and 0.20 microns for the mean counting diameter, and a filtration efficiency requirement of no less than 94%. The filtration effect is related to the particle size, as well as whether the particles contain oil. In addition, the European Union has very strict breathing test standards for FFP2 masks. The inhalation resistance test is performed at a detection flow rate of 95L/min, and the exhalation resistance test is performed at a detection flow rate of 160L/min (China's inhalation and exhalation resistance tests use a detection flow rate of 85L/min). Such strict filtration efficiency and breathing resistance standards ensure the quality of FFP2 masks.