Type IIR surgical masks, as well as FFP2, are ideal for use in public areas and socially distant environments. They feature ear loops and adjustable nosepieces to ensure a snug fit. These masks help stop the spread of saliva or respiratory secretions exhaled by the person wearing them, making them a great option to stop the spread of viruses and potentially harmful bacteria. But what are the differences between the two types of masks?
Type llR Masks
The surgical face mask type IIR is a blue-white 3-layer face mask with integrated nose clip. These masks have different layer materials and thicknesses to meet the certification of mask type IIR (EN 14683). The outer layer consists of a polypropylene fleece with water-repellent effect, the middle layer of a highly effective meltblown layer and the inner layer of a soft skin fleece. With a bacterial filtration efficiency of 98%, these face masks provide effective protection against a range of pathogens and particles.
The associated standard covers a number of factors including filtration efficiency, breathing resistance, splash resistance and microbiological purity. This standard specifies different types, whereby type llR must have at least 98% filtration efficiency.
They are suitable for public or everyday wear for their loose fit. Unfortunately, they only help stop aerosols when you cough or sneeze. They do not have an exceptional filtering effect. The protection factor is therefore not particularly high. Therefore we come to the FFP2 masks
The FFP2 masks have a different certificate, it reads EN 149:2001+A1:2009. Masks with this identification number have been tested by DEKRA and have passed a test. In contrast to the type llR certification with 98%, the FFP2 masks only have to have 94% filter effect. This is already the biggest difference.
In addition to the type llR masks, however, they are also suitable for self-protection due to the tight fit and thus offer better protection overall. This means they can still provide good protection at closer distances and ensure better protection for all compared to Type llR masks.
The structure of the FFP2 mask is far removed from that of the type llR mask, as they often have up to 5 layers. They also have a slightly firmer shape that hugs the face well.
FFP2 masks are better when it comes to effectiveness. Since it is not only the effect that matters, the type llR masks certainly make sense as long as the minimum distance is maintained. In conclusion, both types have their raison d’être. However, if you want to protect yourself as well as possible, you should go for the FFP2 masks.