EN 14683 Medical Face Mask Standard Explained

EN 14683 is a European standard that specifies the requirements and test methods for medical face masks, including surgical masks, in order to ensure their safety and performance. The standard is applicable to masks used by healthcare professionals in a clinical setting to protect both the patient and the wearer from the transfer of microorganisms, body fluids, and particulate matter.

EN 14683 outlines the requirements for the design, performance, and labelling of medical face masks. The standard includes two types of masks: Type I and Type II. Type I masks have a higher bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) and are intended for use in low-risk situations. Type II masks have a higher BFE and are intended for use in moderate-risk situations.

The standard specifies the test methods for evaluating the mask’s BFE, breathability (differential pressure), splash resistance, and microbial cleanliness. The BFE test measures the mask’s ability to filter out bacteria, while the differential pressure test measures the breathability of the mask. The splash resistance test evaluates the mask’s ability to resist penetration by fluids, and the microbial cleanliness test ensures that the mask is free from microbial contamination.

In addition to the Type I and Type II classifications, the standard also includes a Type IIR classification for masks that have enhanced resistance to fluid penetration. Masks that meet the requirements of EN 14683 are generally considered to be of high quality and are widely used in the healthcare industry.

Benefits of Apparel Med EN 14683 Face Masks

Here at Apparel Supply we produce a EN 14683 Type IIR Surgical face mask which is the highest standard for medical face masks that are intended to be used by healthcare professionals and front line workers or in situations where there is a risk of bodily fluids being splashed on the wearer.

This type of mask provides a high level of bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) and differential pressure, indicating that it is effective at filtering out bacteria and maintaining breathability. Type IIR masks must have a minimum BFE of 98% and a maximum differential pressure of 5.0 mmH2O/cm2.

Additionally, they must meet specific requirements for splash resistance and microbial cleanliness. The “R” in Type IIR stands for “resistant,” indicating that the mask is resistant to fluid penetration. These masks are typically made from multiple layers of materials, including non-woven fabrics and melt-blown fabrics, and often feature ear loops or ties to secure the mask in place.

The EN 14683 Type IIR standard is widely recognized and used throughout the European Union for ensuring the quality and effectiveness of medical face masks.

FFP2 masks are designed to filter out at least 94% of airborne particles, including small droplets and aerosols that may contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They provide a better level of protection than regular face masks, which are primarily designed to prevent the spread of droplets from the wearer to others.

FFP2 masks have been approved for medical use and may be used by healthcare workers in certain high-risk situations, such as when caring for patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. However, it’s important to note that FFP2 masks are not designed specifically for medical use for this reason we have got our FFP2 mask additional tested for Splash resistance which wouldn’t be common in order FFP2 masks on the market. Splash resistance refers to a mask’s ability to resist the penetration of fluids, such as blood or other bodily fluids, during medical procedures. This is particularly important in healthcare settings where healthcare workers may be exposed to infectious agents.

What Is An Arc Flash?

An arc flash is a sudden release of electrical energy that occurs when current jumps across a gap between two conductors or from a conductor to a ground. The arc flash generates an intense burst of heat and light that can cause serious injuries, damage to equipment, and fires.

Arc flashes can occur in a wide range of electrical systems and equipment, including switchgear, transformers, motors, and other high-voltage components. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including equipment failure, human error, or a short circuit.

The intense heat generated by an arc flash can cause severe burns, as well as ignite clothing and other materials in the surrounding area, leading to secondary fires. The bright light from the arc flash can also cause temporary or permanent vision damage.

To prevent arc flash incidents, it’s important to follow proper electrical safety procedures, including wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), de-energizing equipment before working on it, and maintaining a safe distance from energized equipment.

Understanding Arc Ratings and Calories

Now that you understand FR clothing is tested and given an arc rating, you know that the arc rating measures the amount of heat the flame resistant fabric blocks when exposed to electric arc. The arc rating is the number of calories that the garment is expected to “absorb” if exposed to an electric arc. Arc rating is, in essence, the level of protection provided to you, the wearer.

Calorie is the unit of measure of the heat energy of an arc flash and the protective level of FR clothing. The bigger the calorie number, the greater the heat energy level of arc flash and the greater the protective level of the clothing. You will be protected from an electric arc if your clothing has a higher calorie arc rating than the calories of heat generated by the arc.

While it does not matter if the fabric has an Ebt,  ATPV and or ELIM value, it is important to pay attention to the calorie level the fabric can support* (as expressed in cal/cm2)