WHAT ARE FFP3 FACE MASKS USED FOR?
FFP3 grade face masks can be used in any situation where protection of the respiratory system is needed. This can range from frontline medical practitioners and health workers, to construction and office staff. These mask can also be worn for commuting to and from work.
Healthcare bodies and world health organisations recommend EU standard certified FFP3 face masks to health care professional who are involved in any aerosol generating procedures and care activity.
Note – The best way to protect against viral transmission is to combine the practice of mask wearing with regular hand washing for a period of at least 20 seconds and the use of alcohol hand rub that has an minimum alcohol content of 70%.
WHY SHOULD I USE AN FFP3 FACEMASK?
FFP3 face masks are thicker & made from synthetic fibres, which means they are able to filter out finer particles. They provide much better protection then the common surgical style mask and are much thicker
These masks can be used for aerosol-generating procedures + as an additional protective layer in situations where physical and social distancing is difficult
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A VALVED AND UNVAVLED FFP3 FACE MASK
FFP3 Masks are available with a valve and without.
The valve provides an air release when the user exhales, preventing the build-up of moisture and heat. This may also prolong the life time of the mask. Valved masks provide a comfort benefit and can be particularly useful for those who wear classes or safety goggles.
The protective features of the mask are not impacted by the existence of the valve. Both Valved & Unvalved FFP3 face masks have been UK lab tested to ensure they conform to the standards in full
An unvalved respirator face masks offer 2-way protection: for the wearer and those around him/her.
HOW DOES AN FFP3 FACE MASK FUNCTION?
Face masks with FFP3 grading provide the highest level of protection
FFP3 Face Masks offer optimum protection through carefully layered specialist materials. These are more expensive and undergo more stringent testing as opposed to the FFP1 and FFP2 face masks. Home made washable masks offer a barrier but are normally not tested or certified to any standards.
FFP3 respiratory face masks protect against an array of substances as well as solid and liquid aerosols – see product specification page for more info.
CAN FFP3 FACE MASKS BE RE-USED? ARE FFP3 FACE MASKS REUSABLE? HOW LONG DOES AN FFP3 MASK LAST FOR?
The number of times you can re-use an FFP3 face masks hasn’t been exactly specified, as these are normally intended only for one use.
However, in line with the current crisis OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) directive indicates that a respirator can be reused as long as it “maintains its structural and functional integrity and the filter material is not physically damaged or soiled”.
WHAT MASKS DO THE NHS USE?
NHS guidelines require the use of FFP3 face masks for virus and bacterial infection protection as the spread happens through proximity coughing and sneezing. This is why masks have been used to limit the spread of viruses.
Please refer to the instruction and/or individual workplace manuals & guidance for using masks in different environments as well as the accompanying protective PPE needed.
NOTE- If the face mask becomes wet, soiled with bodily fluid, structure becomes compromised and can no longer be fitted, or if breathing becomes difficult, the mask should be discarded and replaced.
Attention – to prolong the life of your mask.
Please wash your hands with foaming soap for a minimum of 20 seconds or use an alcohol hand sanitizer before touching and fitting the mask. Refrain from touching the mask or your eyes and face once the mask has been fitted. Remove the mask with caution and be sure to touch it from the outside only. Once removed, store mask alone away from other items and wash your hands with foaming soap for a minimum of 20 seconds or use an alcohol hand sanitizer