Respiratory protection is classified according to protection level and type. The level of protection indicates the ability of the respirator to purify the air.
There are three different levels of protection that respirators are measured by:
FFP is a European standard at the level of protection. In the USA N (NIOSH) is used and in China KN. These standards are similar and perform at about the same level. Below is an overview between FFP2, N95 and KN95 and a comparison of their respective standards.
|Certification/class (Standard)||N95(NIOSH-42CFR84)||FFP2(EN 149-2001)||KN95 (GB2626-2006)||P2 (AS/NZ 1716:2012)||Korea 1st Class (KMOEL - 2017-64)||DS2 (Japan JMHLWNotification 214, 2018)|
|Filter performance – (must be ≥ X% efficient)||≥ 95%||≥ 94%||≥ 95%||≥ 94%||≥ 94%||≥ 95%|
|Test agent||NaCl||NaCl and paraffin oil||NaCl||NaCl||NaCl and paraffin oil||NaCl|
|Flow rate||85 L/min||85 L/min||85 L/min||95 L/min||95 L/min||95 L/min|
|Total inward leakage (TIL)* – tested on human subjects each performing exercises||N/A||≤ 8% leakage (arithmetic mean)||≤ 8% leakage (arithmetic mean)||≤ 8% leakage (individual and arithmetic mean)||≤ 8% leakage (arithmetic mean)||Inward Leakage measured and included in User Instructions|
|Inhalation resistance – max pressure drop||≤ 343 Pa||≤ 70 Pa (at 30 L/min) ≤ 240 Pa (at 95 L/min) ≤ 500 Pa (clogging)||≤ 350 Pa||≤ 70 Pa (at 30 L/min) ≤ 240 Pa (at 95 L/min)||≤ 70 Pa (at 30 L/min) ≤ 240 Pa (at 95 L/min)||≤ 70 Pa (w/valve) ≤ 50 Pa (no valve)|
|Flow rate||85 L/min||Varied – see above||85 L/min||Varied – see above||Varied – see above||40 L/min|
|Exhalation resistance - max pressure drop||≤ 245 Pa||≤ 300 Pa||≤ 245 Pa||≤ 120 Pa||≤ 300 Pa||≤ 70 Pa (w/valve) ≤ 50 Pa (no valve)|
|Flow rate||85 L/min||160 L/min||85 L/min||85 L/min||160 L/min||40 L/min|
|Exhalation valve leakage requirement||Leak rate ≤ 30 mL/min||N/A||Depressurizatio n to 0 Pa ≥ 20 sec||Leak rate ≤ 30 mL/min||visual inspection after 300 L /min for 30 sec||Depressurizatio n to 0 Pa ≥ 15 sec|
|Force applied||-245 Pa||N/A||-1180 Pa||-250 Pa||N/A||-1,470 Pa|
|CO2 clearance requirement||N/A||≤ 1%||≤ 1%||≤ 1%||≤ 1%||≤ 1%|
Respiratory protection is designed to provide adequate protection, which requires leakage to be prevented. It is 100% use time and must fit your face and be comfortable to use. For this reason, make sure that the respiratory protection is comfortable and suitable for the face. When using, for example, face protection, you should not have a beard or stubble. Otherwise, there is a risk of leakage, particles can get inside and even reach the airways. There are several different types of respirators depending on the task and risk exposure.
Many respirators are available with or without valve.