Whether you’re tackling a small home improvement project or working on a busy building site, it is essential that you’re wearing the appropriate safety workwear. One of the most important items is a respirator or dust mask to prevent you from inh...
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Respirator Mask?
A respirator mask prevents harmful particles, fumes, and substances from entering the respiratory tract. Therefore, preventing damage being caused to the nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs.
These masks are necessary for certain conditions, such as when using certain materials and working in confined spaces. This is as materials such as insulation or asphalt can discharge harmful particles and fumes when being used.
There are strict regulations around the use of respirator masks governed by the Health and Safety Executive. These ensure that the equipment is CE marked, correctly fits the wearer, and offers protection in the environment they are working in.
What is an FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 Mask?
FFP masks are available in a variety of grades, with each being designed to filter different concentrations of impurities in the air. In the UK, the most popular type is FFP2 due to its filtering <95% of harmful substances.
FFP1 Respirator Mask
An FFP1 mask protects against materials with a concentration of up to 4x OEL or 4x APF. Because of this, they are the lowest priced FFP respirator mask.
FFP2 Respirator Mask
An FFP2 mask protects against materials with a concentration of up to 12x OEL or 10x APF. As a result, this is a mid-priced FFP respirator mask.
FFP3 Respirator Mask
An FFP3 mask protects against materials with a concentration of up to 50x OEL or 20x APF. As you would expect, these are the costliest type of FFP respirator mask.
Are Dust Masks Reusable?
In the majority of cases, a dust mask can be reused until it is dirty, damaged, or contaminated. If your mask features a valve or filter, you will likely be able to replace this rather than purchasing an entirely new mask. However, this is all dependent upon the recommendations of the HSE and manufacturer.