Areyou using the right face mask?Face masks may all look the same on the surface but there’s a lot more to thehumble face mask than meets the eye...Filtration is what sets one mask apart from another,the level of filtration a mask provides is measured using the American Societyfor Testing and Materials or ASTM Filtration Scale. The ASTM scale is made upof 6 levels but only 3 of these levels are normally used in day-to-day procedures;Levels 1, 2 and 3
SafeRange = ASTM Level 1Low Fluid Resistance For procedures where lowlevels of fluid, spatter and/ or aerosols are produced in low concentrations.
· FR 80 mmHg
· BFE ≥ 95%
· PFE ≥ 95% @ 0.1 micron
· Delta P < 4.0 mm H2O/ cm2
· FS Class 1
Safe+ Range = ASTM Level 2Moderate Fluid Resistance. Forprocedures where the generation of fluid, spatter and/or aerosols is moderate.
· FR 120 mmHg
· BFE ≥ 98%
· PFE ≥ 98% @ 0.1 micron
· Delta P < 5.0 mm H2O/cm2
GuardRange = ASTM Level 3High Fluid Resistance. For procedures where heavyto moderate levels of fluid, spatter and/or aerosols are produced.
· FR 160 mmHg
Face Mask Performance Criteria Explained
FR - Fluid Resistance Mask resistance topenetration by synthetic blood under pressure (mmHg). Higher resistance = higher protection.
BFE- Bacterial Filtration Efficiency Percentage ofparticles filtered out at a pore size of 1.0 - 5.0 microns (μ).
PFE- Submicron Particle Filtration EfficiencyPercentage of particles filtered out at a pore size of 0.1 - 1.0 microns(μ).
DeltaP - Differential Pressure Pressure drop across mask, or resistance to airflow in mmH2O/cm2. Greater resistance = better protection but lessbreath-ability.
FS -Flame Spread Measures the flame spread of the maskmaterial.