EN 149 Respiratory Protective Devices Standard explained

EN 149 is a European standard that specifies the requirements for filtering half masks that are used as respiratory protective devices. These masks are designed to protect against airborne particles, such as dust, smoke, and aerosols.

EN 149 sets out several requirements that filtering half masks must meet to provide effective protection, including requirements for filtration efficiency, breathing resistance, and fit. There are three classes of filtering half masks under EN 149:

    • FFP1: Provides the lowest level of protection against airborne particles, with a minimum filtration efficiency of 80% and a maximum total inward leakage of 22%.

    • FFP2: Provides moderate protection against airborne particles, with a minimum filtration efficiency of 94% and a maximum total inward leakage of 8%.

    • FFP3: Provides the highest level of protection against airborne particles, with a minimum filtration efficiency of 99% and a maximum total inward leakage of 2%.

In addition to these requirements, EN 149 also specifies testing procedures to evaluate the performance of filtering half masks. These tests evaluate the masks’ filtration efficiency, breathing resistance, and fit. It’s important to note that filtering half masks should be used only in situations where respiratory protection is necessary and in accordance with local regulations and guidelines. In addition, users should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use, storage, and disposal of the masks. The Apparel Med respiratory is an FFP2 mask with additional splash resistance testing.

Benefits of Apparel Med EN 149 FFP2 Masks

FFP2 masks are a type of filtering facepiece respirator that are designed to provide a higher level of protection against airborne particles than regular face masks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, FFP2 masks have been recommended for use in certain high-risk situations, such as when caring for patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

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)