As more Covid-19 variants emerge across the globe, attention has once again turned to N95 and FFP2 face masks. Interest in N95 masks is surging. With more transmissible Covid-19 coronavirus variants circulating in dozens of countries, some people are feeling the need for extra protection during the pandemic. But what extra protection do they provide compared to cloth, disposable mask, and crucially, should you buy one? Here’s what you need to know.
What are N95 and FFP2 face masks?
N95 and FFP2 are similar kinds of respiratory masks. These masks supposedly protect both the wearer and the people around them. The World Health Organisation. cites studies that show the filtration systems of FFP2 and N95 masks are 94 and 95 percent effective respectively. Their enhanced effectiveness has led to countries such as Austria and Germany making them a requirement on public transport. FFP3 masks are the most effective, followed by FFP2/N95, then surgical masks, and, finally, cloth masks.
What are in N95 and FFP2 face masks?
So what makes these respiratory masks so good at filtration compared to surgical or cloth masks? FFP2 masks are defined as being composed of three layers of synthetic non-woven materials, available in different thicknesses, with the inclusion of filtration layers between. It’s this combination of factors that leads to those strong results. But, 94 to 95 percent of what? This figure is achieved by testing masks using NaCl (sodium chloride) particles and paraffin oil – this is only for FFP2 testing, with the N95 certification process only testing using NaCl. While standard medical masks only filter three-micrometer droplets, FFP2 respirator masks filter down to 0.075 micrometer solid particles. The masks are then tested by seeing what percentage of these small particles make it through and, in the case of getting FFP2 certification, only six percent or less can do so.
FFP2 simply stands for “filtering facepiece”, with the number indicating the level of protection. Some filtering facepiece respirators also come with “NR” at the end of their name, and this means “not reusable”.Most Popular. FFP2 and N95 face masks are not exactly the same, but studies show that there is no material difference between their effectiveness.
The FFP2 mask is more expensive than your average cloth or surgical mask, especially given these are non-reusable. This face mask has four-layer protection as well as an ear loop fastening and adjustable nose wire. The fitting is in the new 3D design that makes it super comfortable and breathable.
If you’re looking for a pack of FFP2 face masks to last you a good while then Duka Ni Yetu is your place. Over 20 different color patterns are available. You can pick a pack of 10pcs, FFP2 face masks at a price that’s just 80ksh per mask, making it decent value for money too. For the money, you get a mask that offers FFP2 certified protection from harmful particles as well as a lightweight design and adjustable straps for getting the required snug fit.
Here is where to buy any of the FFP2: