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HomeClean Household Appliances → FFP2 mask: price, in pharmacy, reusable, efficient?
FFP2 mask: price, in pharmacy, reusable, efficient?

FFP2 mask: price, in pharmacy, reusable, efficient?

[Updated on January 26, 2022 at 10:22 am] Faced with the strong contagion of the omicron variant, many French people opt for the wearing of an FFP2 mask, an effective protective weapon because more filtering and more adjusted to the face than surgical masks The 5 million FFP2 masks promised to teachers, 90%arrived, announces the Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer on January 26 on BFMTV. "According to experimental data, FFP2 masks are more hermetic and protect better, confirms Pr Arnaud Fontanet on BFM-TV on January 10, but they are harder to wear on the day especially when you make efforts." Concretely "an FFP2 carried effortlessly for example in the cinema will protect better". However, the High Council of Public Health (HCSP), seized by the government, does not wish to go "towards an extension of the port of the FFP2", said Olivier Véran during his hearing in front of the Senate on January 10. In other words, the HCSP is not in favor of generalizing the wearing of the FFP2 mask in the general population. Even in the medical field, its port would only be recommended for those "who are today considered at risk because they are exposed to droplets". If the government sticks to the official opinions of the health authorities, it nevertheless wishes to "discuss" the subject again. Indeed, the FFP2 mask is only effective if it is properly used and worn. So if it is often removed to breathe or speak or go under the nose, it is useless. In this case, it is better to opt for a more bearable surgical mask, therefore better worn. You can find them in pharmacies and in supermarkets as at Leclerc, Auchan, Carrefour, Intermarché, Franprix ... and in certain DIY stores. On the Internet, be careful to check the standards. The prices vary from 20 cents per 1 euro mask depending on the location. Should we choose with valve, 3 folds or on a beak? How to put it? Guide with Dr. Sandrine Nail-Billaud, pharmacist in pharmacies and professor of immunology at the Angers University Hospital.

Definition: What is a FFP2 mask?

An FFP type mask (for "filter facial" in French) is a respiratory protective equipment that covers the nose and mouth.It is intended to protect the one who carries it against inhalation of both droplets and particles suspended in the air potentially contaminated by the coronavirus.There are three categories of FFP masks, classified according to the efficiency of the filter and the leak from the outside air to the face:

Where to buy an FFP2 mask?

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, the FFP2 mask was reserved for caregivers."We had a ban on issuing it because we only had a state stock reserved for health professionals," informs Dr. Nail-Billaud, a pharmacist.Now they are accessible to the general public in pharmacies and in distribution brands like Auchan, Leclerc, Carrefour ...

► In pharmacy: there is no need to have a prescription to buy FFP2 masks.They are a little more expensive than in large areas, about 1 euro the FFP2 mask.

► In supermarkets such as Auchan, Carrefour, Intermarché, Franprix or Leclerc.

Masque FFP2 : prix, en pharmacie, réutilisable, efficaces ?

► In DIY stores (Leroy Merlin, Castorama, Bricorama ...): beware, prefer masks without a valve, which do not propagate potentially contaminated air when expires.

► with medical suppliers.

► On the Internet (Amazon, Cdiscount): Watch out for FFP2 masks which do not meet standards and approval.When purchasing, check that the mask displays the FFP2, NF in 149, N95 or KN95 symbols, as well as CE marking.In addition, "you have to be wary of resellers who practice very low prices (less than one euro). Finally, the photo can show that the masks are in accordance with standards, but does not always correspond to the products you will receive.It can be illustration photos. Some products can be sold without a box. You have to be very vigilant when you order masks on the internet, "she advises.

What is the price ?

The FFP2 mask remains generally more expensive than the surgical mask.

Is it mandatory in France?

Wearing an FFP2 mask is compulsory in public transport (bus, metros, tram, trains ...), shops and certain places of culture in Italy and certain regions of Germany, in Bavaria in particular. Austria has even been further by imposing the wearing of the FFP2 mask outside, especially when the distancing of 2 meters cannot be respected (pedestrian passages, queues ...). It was already compulsory in closed public places and public transport. The opinion of the High Council of Public Health "would not go to an extension of the port of the FFP2" excluding health professionals, detailed Olivier Véran, Minister of Health on January 10, 2022 during a hearing before the Senators. Thus for the moment, in France "the government has not recommended the generalization of the wearing of the FFP2 mask in the general population. It is true that we have seen the request of the FFP2 masks grow in the face of the arrival of the variants and in particular after The opinion of the High Council of Public Health not advising the port of category 2 mask, especially since the FFP2 mask is compulsory in Germany and Austria. People are on the lookout for equipment that can protect them even more Against the COVID-19. Nevertheless, as long as there are no ministerial recommendations, the Category 1 fabric masks or the surgical masks worn correctly and changed every 4 hours are largely sufficient to make barrier to the virus ", details our expert.

What standards for a good FFP2 mask?

A certified FFP2 mask must comply with standard NF EN 149, specifies the National Research and Security Institute (INRS) on its website.The mask and its packaging must wear the following indications:

How to choose an FFP2 mask?

It is important to choose an FFP2 mask meeting the NF EN 149 standard or equivalent foreign standards, such as the American standard N95 or the Chinese standard KN95.Regarding the model, there are FFP2 masks of different shapes (shell, 2 folds, 3 folds, duck beaks, etc.), with or without expiratory valve (valve) and provided or not with a facial seal.The mask must be adapted to the morphology of the user's face.Some models are available in two or three sizes (S, M, L).It should be tried to check that the model is well suited.The most common :

► FFP2 mask 3 folds

The 3 -fold FFP2 mask is both very efficient and very comfortable.It has at least 90% minimum filtration efficiency.

► FFP2 Duck spout

The duck beak mask allows maximum breathing and better comfort.With its two elastic bands on both sides of the face, it allows you to cover the mouth and nose well and does not let the particles pass.It has at least 90% minimum filtration efficiency.

► FFP2 mask in Valve

The presence of a valve makes it possible to facilitate expiration and thus improve the comfort of the user. This valve only lets air pass at the time of expiration and closes when inspiration. It therefore does not allow the penetration of particles inside the mask. Its effectiveness is identical to that provided by a mask without a valve. On the other hand, the air expired by the carrier through the valve is likely to contaminate the external environment. "These are masks that have the name FFP2, but it is rather DIY masks that will filter dust and pollution. The fact that there is valves means that when you breathe outdoor air, particles virals are potentially capable of passing through the valve, "said the pharmacist. Valve masks are not sufficiently protective outside. In other words, this valve spreads the virus around you when you expire. The valve mask is therefore not recommended during the pandemic period.

What is its effectiveness?

Contrairement aux versions chirurgicales ou en tissu de catégorie 2 qui ne protègent pas contre l'inhalation de très petites particules en suspension dans l'air, le masque FFP2 permet à son porteur d'être protégé contre l'inhalation de particules en suspension dans l'air. Il filtre au moins 94 % des aérosols (particules en suspension) de taille moyenne 0,6 µm (fuite totale vers l'intérieur < 8 %) et 99% des particules en suspension de taille 0.3 µm. "Selon les données expérimentales, les masques FFP2 sont plus hermétiques et protègent mieux, confirme le Pr Arnaud Fontanet sur BFM-TV le 10 janvier 2022, mais ils sont plus durs à porter sur la journée surtout quand on fait des efforts." "On peut avoir une sensation de chaleur et de condensation à l'intérieur du masque donc moi je conseille de les changer très régulièrement", ajoute le Dr Sandrine Nail-Billaud, pharmacienne en officine et professeur en immunologie au CHU d'Angers. Concrètement "un FFP2 porté sans effort par exemple au cinéma protègera mieux" mais s'il est retiré souvent pour respirer ou pour parler ou encore descendu sous le nez, il est inutile. Dans ce cas, il vaut mieux opter pour un masque chirurgical plus supportable, mieux porté donc plus efficace.

>> Attention, une barbe (même naissante) réduit l'étanchéité du masque au visage et diminue son efficacité globale, prévient l'INRS.

What maximum duration can we wear it?

To be effective, the FFP2 mask must be well placed on the face.Its port duration is maximum 8 hours on a single day but "beyond 4 hours, wearing a FFP2 mask is quite difficult", wishes to prevent our interlocutor.If we really want to opt for FFP2 masks, do not hesitate to try different shapes and different brands to find the most suitable model and the one we will support the best.If it is very hot, the INRS advises to wear it a maximum hour.If it becomes wet or if it is soiled, it should be changed.

How to put an FFP2 mask?

If it is poorly adapted or poorly adjusted, the FFP2 mask does not offer better protection than other masks.To be effective, the mask must be properly positioned.To put it:

→ Cover the filter surface of the mask using a plastic sheet held in place with both hands.

→ Inspire: the mask must crash slightly on the face.

→ If the mask is not flat, it is that it is not waterproof and it must be readjusted.

→ After several unsuccessful attempts, change models because it is not unsuitable.

>> Pour retirer un masque FFP2 : saisissez-le par l'arrière en attrapant les lanières ou les élastiques sans toucher la partie avant du masque. Lavez-vous les mains ou exercez une friction avec une solution hydroalcoolique après le retrait.

Can we reuse an FFP2 mask?

Most FFP2 masks are for single use.A removed mask should not be reused.It should be discarded in his household waste by taking care to place it in a closed bag.Note that there are certified FFP2 masks which are washable with 4 layers including a layer infused with copper.They are in theory washable 60 times in the machine, short program 30 minutes at 60 ° C.Be careful, make sure that these masks have standard NF EN 149 and CE marking.

Thank you to Dr. Sandrine Nail-Billaud, pharmacist in pharmacies, etc. REFERNENT DOCTIPHARMA, professor in immunology and parasitology at the Angers University Hospital.

Sources: Respiratory protection masks and biological risks, INRS / Protection of health professionals against COVID-19, Ministry of Health, October 27, 2020.