Dust and Particle Protection

There are two types of protection against dust and particles:

  • FFP coded dust masks complying with EN 149 standards.
  • P coded filters (for half-face and full-face masks) complying with EN 143 standards.


Dust and Particle Protection Levels:
FFP EN 149 Minimum Protection Rate
FFP1 78%
FFP2 92%
FFP3 98%



Selection of the Level of Protection


The choice of incorrect respiratory protective equipment can lead to serious health risks and diseases.

NPF (nominal protection factor) and APF (assigned protection factor) are crucial in the selection of suitable respiratory gear. NPF is calculated by considering the highest penetration rate allowed by European standards. APF is the protection factor that is established by taking samples from real-life working environments, which will be encountered by 95% of users.

The other important consideration is the Occupational Exposure Limit Value. This refers to the limit value of the time-weighted average concentration in the air in the breathing zone of the worker, within the specified reference time interval. In other words, this is the limit value that workers are exposed to every day that does not have negative effects on their health.

This value is also displayed as TLV (Threshold Limit Value). Based on scientific studies of workplace hygiene, it is expressed in units of mg/m3 or ppm.



Dust Masks Half Face Masks Full Face Masks
Class NPF Max Cons. Filter Class NPF Max Cons. Filter Class NPF Max Cons.
FFP1 4 4×MMDS P1 4 4×MMDS P1 5 4×MMDS
FFP2 12 12×MMDS P2 12 12×MMDS P2 16 12×MMDS
FFP3 50 50×MMDS P3 48 50×MMDS P3 1000 50×MMDS

 Gas and Steam Protection


Color Code Filter Type
Brown AX Boiling temperature of organic compound gases and vapors <65 °C
Brown A Boiling temperature of organic compound gases and vapors >65 °C
Grey B Inorganic gases and vapors such as Chlorine, Hydrogen sulfide, Hydrogen cyanide
Yellow E For acid gases such as Sulfur dioxide, Acetic acid, Formic acid, Hydrofluoric acid
Green K Ammonia
Red Hg Mercury vapor
Black CO Carbon monoxide
Blue NO Nitrogen gases including Nitrogen Monoxide
White P Protection against dust and particles


Selection of the Level of Protection

 In order to select suitable protective equipment against gases and vapors, the name and the concentration of the chemical used must be known. Filters are grouped under 3 different classes according to their capacity:


Class 1 2 3
Capacity Low Middle High
Exposure Limit 1000 ppm 5000 ppm 10000 ppm


The total efficiency of the protection against gases and vapors is determined not by the filter but by the type of mask used.


Half Face Masks Full Face Masks
Filter Class NPF Max Cons. Filter Class NPF Max Cons.
Gas Filter 50 50×TLV Gas Filter 2000 2000×TLV


 EN Standards for Respiratory Protection


EN 136: EN standard for full face masks.

EN 137: EN standard for respiratory cannisters and harnesses.

EN 139: EN standard for clean air supply masks.

EN 140: EN standard for half face masks.

EN 141: Gas/vapor filters and combined filters for negative pressure breathing apparatus.

EN 143: Particulate filters for negative pressure respirators.

EN 145: Compressed oxygen or compressed oxygen-nitrogen type, self-contained closed-circuit breathing apparatus.

EN 146: Self-contained open circuit compressor air that can be used with the headgear.

EN 148: Requirements for the threads of the face masks.

EN 149: EN standard for maintenance-free masks.

EN 270: EN standard for clean air supply heads.

EN 403: EN standard for escape masks.

EN 405: EN standard for maintenance-free gas and vapor masks.