What are N99 / FFP3 Face Masks?
N99 or FFP3 face masks are used to provide protection from viruses, bacteria, and solid or liquid toxic aerosols. N99 and FFP3 provide the same amount of protection as each other, but have different names depending on where they have been made. These masks are commonly used by those working in the healthcare industry as personal protective equipment (PPE). FFP3 masks filter 99% of particles from the air. These face masks have been approved by the World Health Organisation for preventing the transmission of COVID-19.
What is the N99 or FFP3 protection level?
FFP3 masks have a filtration rate of 99% and have 5 layers of protection. They are more effective than other respirators such as N95, FFP2, FFP1 and surgical masks. These masks are used by NHS and offer the highest level of protection.
How do I use an N99 Face Mask?
N99 respirators cover the mouth and nose area. They have two elastic headbands which either go over the head or the ears to keep the mask securely in place. They are fitted with a metal strip which can be adjusted to fit tightly around the bridge of the nose, stopping air from entering through the sides of the mask. Please contact us if you require a specific type of mask.
Are FFP3 masks reusable?
We do not advise that you reuse your face mask. This is because infectious particles are not visible to the naked eye, and it is not possible to tell if your respirator is contaminated.
If you wish to reuse your face mask, there are a few points to consider:
- Whether the mask has been contaminated
- Whether you have made close contact with anyone who may be infected with a contagious disease whilst wearing your mask
Points to consider if you reuse your respirator:
- Used face masks should be hung in a specified storage area, or kept in a breathable container between uses, such as a paper bag
- Clean your hands with soap and water, or an alcohol-based sanitiser before and after touching your mask
- You should not make contact with the inside of the respirator. If this accidentally happens, dispose of the mask safely and wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitiser
- Use a clean pair of gloves to put on and secure your face mask. Once you have put it on and it is comfortable, safely dispose of the gloves
How do FFP3 face masks work?
FFP3 respirators are made of tangled fine fibres which create a difficult pathway for particles to travel through. This structure leads to particles being caught by the fibres. For smaller particles that would otherwise pass through, layers of non-woven materials create sufficiently convoluted pathways, so that a majority of these particles cannot pass through. For a face masks to be effective, these pathways cannot be too small as they would make it difficult to breathe. At the same time, they cannot be too big, as this would allow all particles to pass through. FFP3 masks are designed in a way to allow the user to breathe, whilst providing a high level of protection from airborne viruses, such as coronavirus.
What is the difference between N95, N99, FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 masks?
N99 and FFP3 are the same model. The difference in name is due to different codes depending on the country in which the masks were manufactured. N99 equates to FFP3 in the same way the N95 equates to FFP2. The difference between FFP1, FFP2 (N95) and FFP3 (N99) respirators are the number of particles which they filter. N99 respirators filter up to 99% of particles meaning they offer the most protection followed by N95 which filter 95% and FFP1, which filter around 80% of particles.
To find out more information, you can read our article about the best face mask to protect against coronavirus.
Where can I buy an N99 Face Mask?
Here at Chemist Click, we offer a range of different face masks and respirators including Type IR and Type IIR surgical face masks, N95 and N99 respirators, as well as other protective equipment such as disposable gloves and hand sanitisers