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3M & CDC Compare FFP2, KN95 and N95 Masks

Posted by S. Kit on
3M & CDC Compare FFP2, KN95 and N95 Masks

NIOSH-Approved N95 masks are considered the gold standard in the United States. However, due to the shortage of supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, the FFP2 & KN95 particulate respirator face mask can be considered as a suitable equivalent according to both 3M and the CDC.

Respirator standards around the world loosely fall into the two camps of US- and EU-like grades. According to 3M, respirators made according to the following standards are equivalent to US N95 or European FFP2 respirators "for filtering non-oil-based particles such as those resulting from wildfires, PM 2.5 air pollution, volcanic eruptions, or bioaerosols (e.g. viruses)"

3M’s guidance on N95 respirator standards from NIOSH (National Institute for occupational Safety and Health) compared with respirators approved under standards used in other countries that are similar to NIOSH-Approved N95 Filter Facepiece Respirators (FFR), it is reasonable to consider China's KN95, AS/NZ P2, Korea 1st Class, and Japan DS FFRs as “equivalent” to US NIOSH N95 and European FFP2 respirators, for filtering non-oil-based particles such as those resulting from wildfires, PM 2.5 air pollution, volcanic eruptions, or bioaerosols (e.g. viruses).

EN 149 is a European standard of testing and marking requirements for filtering half masks. Such masks cover the nose, mouth and chin and may have inhalation and/or exhalation valves. EN 149 defines three classes of such particle half masks, called FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3, (FFP = filtering facepiece) according to their filtering efficiency.

EN 149 FFP2 masks have similar performance requirements to N95 masks in the United States and KN95 filters of China, and EN 149 FFP3 masks have similar performance requirements to N99 masks in the United States. However EN 149 test requirements differ somewhat from the U.S./Chinese/Japanese standards: EN 149 requires an additional paraffin-oil aerosol test and it tests at a range of different flow rates and defines several associated and permissible pressure drop levels.

Chinese KN95 (GB2626-2006): similar to US. Has category KN (non-oily particles) and KP (oily particles), 90/95/100 versions. EU-style leakage requirements. In China, KN95 respirators are made by companies such as Suzhou Sanical Protective Product Manufacturing Co., Ltd. which makes the brand name Benehal, Weini Technology Development Co., and Dongguan Sengtor Plastic Products Co., Ltd., which makes the brand name XIKII. You can find this FDA EUA authorized KN95 masks at Austin Technology Supply.

However, prior to selecting a respirator, users should consult their local respiratory protection regulations and requirements or check with their local public health authorities for selection guidance.

Click here for 3M Technical Bulletin Comparison of FFP2, KN95 and N95 masks

Respirators Approved Under Standards Used in Other Countries That Are Similar to NIOSH-Approved N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators

Source: CDC

Country Performance Standard Acceptable Product Classification May Be Used in Lieu of NIOSH-Certified Products Classified as
Australia AS/NZS 1716:2012 P2 N95
P3 N99 or lower
Brazil ABNT/NBR 13698:2011 PFF2 N95
PFF3 N99 or lower
People’s Republic of China GB 2626-2006

GB 2626-2019


KN/KP95 N95
KN/KP100 N95
Europe EN 149-2001 P2 N95
P3 N99 or lower
Japan JMHLW-2000 DS/DL2 N95
DS/DL3 N99 or lower
Korea KMOEL-2017-64 Special 1st N95
Mexico NOM-116-2009 N95 N95
R95 R95 or lower
P95 P95 or lower
N99 N99 or lower
R99 R99 or lower
P99 P99 or lower
N100 N100 or lower
R100 R100 or lower
P100 P100 or lower



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