Filtering Face Piece 3 (FFP3) masks are respirator masks which commonly feature a filter or valve to help wearers breathe through the slightly thicker, tighter fabric and protect them from exposure to airborne particles.
FFP3 face masks are a “Filtering FacePiece” as defined in the EU by the EN 149
standard. As mechanical filters they are used in so called “respirators”, and more commonly just
known as “FFP masks”. Although similar to N99 masks, FFP3 masks have distinct features and
follow a different regulatory standard. Read about the differences here. FFP3 offers the highest
filtration of all FFP masks.
FFP3 masks are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as they protect the person wearing them against particulates such as dust particles, aerosols, and droplets.
FFP3 masks protect against very fine particles such as asbestos or ceramic. They don’t protect against gases and nitrogen oxide. They can also protect against respiratory viruses like avian influenza, Covid-19 or SARS.
According to the WHO and several health authorities, FFP3 masks are recommended primarily for health workers that are in regular contact with Covid-19, although FFP2 masks are fine as well.