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Particle filtering half masks (aka face filtering pieces or FFP masks) protect against liquid and solid aerosols from the ambient air. In the EU, FFP masks are category III personal protective equipment, so must meet strict requirements regarding their protective effect.

Tes­ting and Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of FFP Res­pi­ra­tors

As an accredited laboratory and notified body (No. 0555), we test and certify FFP respirators to the EN 149 standard and issue EU type certificates for CE marking in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/425.

  • Independent functional verification
  • Compliance with all EU legal requirements
  • Certification for CE marking
  • Simple and secure marketing of FFP masks through compliance with all necessary specifications
  • Reliable safety for mask users

What We Test

We provide reliable proof of FFP mask protective effect - in all categories

Lab & Practical Performance Tests

  • Breathing resistance (pressure needed to breathe through the mask)
  • Permeability of the filter medium (analysis of nanometer particles with optical and flame photometers)
  • Inward leakage (mask tightness with test person in test chamber and flame photometer)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) content of inhaled air (backpressure)
  • Flammability of mask material (afterburning)
  • Exhalation valve attachment strength (traction)
  • Storage (dust loading of filter)
  • Conditioning (pre-treatments to simulate work environments)
  • Practical performance using real people (test persons) in simulated typical work situations (field of vision, skin compatibility, comfort)

Assessments

  • Skin compatibility
  • Field of vision
  • Safety of connections
  • Headgear comfort

Visual Inspection

  • Correctness of labeling
  • Clarity of use instructions
  • Ability of the packaging to protect masks from damage and contamination
  • Condition of components

Optional Tests

  • FFP masks marked "D" have passed an additional exposure test with dolomite dust. They offer higher dust absorption and have a low breathing resistance.
    Testing your FFP masks for dolomite dust is expected to be available from July 2022.
  • Testing for substances toxic to humans

FFP Mask Categories

3 protection levels

Depending on the filter performance, the breathing resistance and the inward leakage, FFP masks are divided into three protection levels.

Example using the filter performance:

  • FFP1 masks
    • Filter at least 80% of all aerosols from the room air when used as intended
    • Example use: for work in environments with non-toxic dusts
  • FFP2 masks
    • Separation rate of at least 94% of aerosols from the ambient air
    • Example use: for working with toxic dusts
  • FFP3 masks
    • Capture at least 99% of aerosols from the environment
    • Used for work in environments that are harmful to health, up to and including infection protection for employees in healthcare facilities
Contact
Ben Mead
Managing Director
Hohenstein Institute America