type mask , according to the Guide of the Ministry of Consumption on the purchase of masks, is recommended for “those who care for or are in contact with people who are symptomatic or positive for COVID-19”. Its filtration efficiency is very high, specifically 98% , so it protects both the wearer and the people around them, as long as they do not have a valve.
Although all FFP masks are effective, protect and fit the face, FFP3 is superior in terms of effectiveness to the other 2: FFP1 and FFP2.
It should be added that surgical masks , on the other hand, can have an efficiency of up to 99%filtering, however this varies between one and the other, so it is essential to review the manufacturer’s specifications. This is equally essential in fabric masks.
Fernando Simon, director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES), pointed out this Thursday that “the differences in the percentage of filtering out and in are not excessive, but it is true that FFP2 filters better inwards and the surgical out”.
To this we have to add that if 2 people are in the same place and both are wearing their corresponding mask, the effect will be multiplied.
The director of the CCAES also made reference to hygienic masks, stating that as long as they comply with the UNE regulations that regulate them in Spain, they have a similar effectiveness to the rest.
Masks pose a risk if they do not have at least 90% filtration.
Duration of each mask
The duration of protection of non-reusable FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 masks is generally limited to one use or one work shift (four to eight hours). However, the manufacturer’s instructions must be read precisely to carry out correct use, since there may be variations.
Regarding non-reusable surgical masks, the Ministry of Health states that the duration depends on the manufacturer, so the specifications of each one should be consulted, although their limited use is generally 4 hours .
The same thing happens with hygienic masks, that is, they have the same duration, except if they are reusable, which should be checked according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The fabric masks that we can find on the market can be both high and low filtration, so it is essential to check their specifications when making our choice. Their use is also limited to the indications of each manufacturer, however, they are recommended only if the user does not have masks of the above types within their reach.
Where to find FFP3 masks and at what price
These masks, like those of the FFP2 and FFP1 type, can be found in pharmacies, specialized stores and supermarkets , according to Consumption in its guide. What should you take into account when buying a mask
price is between 3 and 5 euros , being normally more expensive if they are bought individually and cheaper in packages. It is generally more expensive than FFP2, which costs between 1 and 3 euros.
With regard to surgical masks, it should be added that they are the most accessible, the most used and the cheapest. They can be found in pharmacies, supermarkets, vending machines… and a pack of 50 masks costs around 10 euros.