Understanding Face Mask Standards

Respirators, also referred to as Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFR), are subject to different regulatory standards around the world. In April 2020, the F.D.A. issued an emergency use authorization for KN95 masks. The KN95 are almost identical in performance to N95 masks, with slight differences in their specifications, like a variation in the maximum pressure the masks must be able to withstand as a person inhales and exhales.

  • N95 (United States NIOSH-42CFR84) – NIOSH grades respirators based on filtration efficiency: N95, N99, N100
  • KN95 (China GB2626-2006)
  • FFP2 (Europe EN 149-2001) – CE marked masks are respirators approved by the European Economic Area and further designated as FFP1 (80% filtration), FFP2 (94%) and FFP3 (99%)
  • P2 (Australia/New Zealand AS/NZA 1716:2012)
  • Korea 1st class (Korea KMOEL – 2017-64)
  • DS (Japan JMHLW-Notification 214, 2018)

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