▷ These masks are not protecting you | DACAR
These masks are not protecting you

According to a recent study by the British HSE, which is the equivalent of the National Institute for Health and Safety at Work in Spain, the HSE has stated that masks and respirators that are attached to or rely on elastic straps around the ears (and even if they have additional accessories to better hold the straps, such as clips, hooks or other ways of adjusting the mask) in order to keep the mask in place, are not properly protecting people when used as respiratory protective equipment (RPE) in the workplace.

Why doesn't this mask protect us?

Noting a considerable increase in the market for respirators with elasticated bands around the ears marked FFP2, the HSE stresses that this level of protection can only be achieved if the fit is efficient and, having carried out appropriate checks, has confirmed that this seal cannot be achieved with such a respirator or mask.

porque no protege la mascarilla

The HSE advises against the use of facepieces or respirators secured by elasticated ear straps such as EPR.

If the mask or respirator uses elastic ear-straps, in most cases, it is unlikely to provide adequate protection to the wearer as this mode of attachment does not provide a sufficient fit. This includes respirators marketed with clips, hooks or any other type of attachment, even if they are CE or UKCA marked.

Following the publication of the previous Safety Alert “Use of masks designated KN95” in June 2020, the NHS took early action to exclude masks or respirators with elasticated ear straps from its supply chain due to concerns that they offer little real protection. As a result, respirators with headbands or headgear are recommended as the only respirators that are sufficiently guaranteed to pass fit tests, the only way to ensure effective worker protection.

Which face masks do we recommend?

After knowing this important information about the masks mentioned above, which masks can I use to be properly protected?

Well, an excellent option is the AM series of respirators: AMV-3 and AMVC-3. Both are FFP3 type with valve, the difference being that one of them has active carbon (model AM3VC) and is specially designed for protection against welding fumes and the formation of ozone produced by the action of UV on oxygen.

In both cases, the masks of the AM series incorporate wide elastic straps around the head with individual adjustment for better wearing comfort and ease of adjustment for maximum protection against inward leakage.

On the other hand, they are equipped with an inner lip that considerably improves watertightness against possible inward leakage, thus reducing the risk of contaminants entering the mouth-nasal area and being inhaled.

Complies with EN 149:2001 + A1: 2009 with protection up to 50 x TLV. FFP3 NR D

In addition, the masks of the AM series have a preformed nasal bridge which eliminates the need for regular adjustment of the closure in the nasal bridge area, which is usually the most difficult area to adjust. The black outer mesh, apart from achieving the optimal facial fit, also prevents sagging or deformation during use.

Surgical masks and other facial coverings are not affected.

Do not confuse FFP2 masks/respirators with fluid-resistant surgical masks (FRSMs), shown below, as FRSMs are used for a different purpose and do not need to be fitted.

mascarilla quirurjica

Facial adjustment test

In order to provide adequate respiratory protection to users, in various countries such as the UK, France or more recently Italy, all RPE must be subjected to a face fit test by a competent assessor.

The principle is simple: a mask or respirator only offers effective respiratory protection if it fits the user’s face properly.

HSE research shows that in most cases, facepieces or respirators with elasticated ear straps fail a face fit test. The HSE therefore strongly discourages the use of such respirators as RPE in the workplace.

More Info:

Fuente: https://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/ear-loop-respirators.htm 

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