Updated: Feb 19
Be aware of Fake FFP2 Masks
Certified FFP2 Face Masks
At the beginning of the Corona pandemic, there was a bottleneck in the production of FFP2 Masks because demand was gigantically high. As a result, according to experts, quite a few untested products have come into circulation, which are sold expensively as FFP2 Masks both in online trade and in pharmacies, but do not meet the necessary safety standards, are incorrectly labelled or have invalid or forged certificates.
High-quality FFP2 Masks are now becoming increasingly important as they protect both the wearers themselves and their fellow human beings. "FFP2 particle-filtering half masks in accordance with the European standard DIN EN 149 offer more protection against virus transmission than conventional face coverings or so-called surgical masks in accordance with DIN EN 14683," says André Siegl, an expert in occupational health and safety at the German TÜV Association. "Due to material and fit, FFP2 Face Masks filter more and smaller particles from the air and can filter up to 94 percent of aerosols. For maximum protection, an optimal and proper fit is very important." In addition, consumers should pay attention to their valid certification and material quality when buying an FFP2 Mask. Siegl: "Defective or counterfeit face masks are not easy to recognise purely visually. However, the smell and strength of the material can provide initial information about suitability." Manufacturer's certificates and images of certificates enclosed with the product should also be trustworthy and conclusive even at first glance. As accredited testing laboratories and notified bodies, TÜV companies also test and certify particle-filtering half masks. The German TÜV Association provides an overview of the use, quality and safety of FFP2 Masks.
Consumers should pay attention to the following information
· With the CE mark, manufacturers declare that the mask meets all legal requirements in the EU.
· The subsequent four-digit number indicates the testing institute that carried out the certification, e.g. 1008 for German TÜV Rheinland.
· The protection class (FFP2) designates the filtering performance: for FFP2 Masks, at least 94 percent for aerosols.
· The European standard DIN EN 149 is given with the year. For DIN EN 149 with 2009-08 or also as EN 149:2001+A1:2009.
· The suffix "NR" stands for Not Reusable, "R" for reusable or the suffix "D" for dolomite dust test passed.
· In addition, a manufacturer's name or trademark should be printed on the mask. The manufacturer's name and address should also be printed on the packaging.
· Attached manufacturer's certificates and images of certificates should be trustworthy and conclusive even at first glance.
· The expiration date guarantees until when the filter performance is effective at least.
In the so-called NANDO database on the website of the EU Commission, users can check whether the number of a test centre is correct. In case of questions, dealers are generally obliged to provide information. Buyers can therefore contact the sellers of the mask if they are in doubt as to whether an FFP2 Mask complies with the standards. The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) has published another source of information on product recalls, product warnings and prohibition orders. The list "Hazardous Products in Germany" lists all defective FFP2 Masks discovered to date.