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What is the Difference Between P1, P2, and P3 masks.

03 Dec 2020 | Product
Mask

Over the past year the amount of masks on the market have exploded. When looking for a face mask there is a mass of information about mask types and grades, that to the standard shopper will make no sense. As to be expected, the grading of a mask matters as it speaks to what the mask is capable of filtering and in what environments the mask should be used in. P1 and P2 grading come in a half mask respirator format, P3 masks are required to be a full face mask. The P1, 2, and 3 gradings are specific to Australia and New Zealand, in the US the standards are under N95, N99 and N100 and are very similar to the Australian requirements. So find out below the details in different mask grades for particulate filtration.

P1 Masks

P1 masks have the lowest efficiency of filtration, rated to filter out at least 80% of airborne particles at a size of >1 micron. Generally recommended for use for relatively large particles generated by mechanical processes, eg. grinding, cutting, sanding, drilling, sawing

P2

P2 masks are the most commonly used since they are rated at a higher efficiency of filtration, rated to filter out at least 94% of airborne particles. Recommended for use for relatively small particles generated by mechanical processes eg. grinding, cutting, sanding, drilling, sawing, sub-micron thermally generated particles e.g. welding fumes, fertilizer and bushfire smoke, and biologically active airborne particles under specified infection control applications e.g. viruses, bacteria, COVID-19, SARS.

P2 masks are graded to use for virus protection, as jobsite & dust masks, in mining, and in the healthcare fields.

P3

P3 masks are required to be full face masks and are the highest efficiency form of particle filtration, rated to filter at least 99.95% of airborne particles. Recommended for use for relatively small particles generated by mechanical processes eg. grinding, cutting, sanding, drilling, sawing, sub-micron thermally generated particles e.g. welding fumes, fertilizer and bushfire smoke, biologically active airborne particles under specified infection control applications e.g. viruses, bacteria, COVID-19, SARS, and highly toxic particles e.g. Organophosphate Insecticides, Radionuclides, Asbestos.

Mask Testing

When looking for a mask, you should only ever get a fully certified product that matches your needs. The testing and certification process ensures that the mask product meets a high standard and keeps the wearer safe while it is in use.

The compliance tests not only cover particulate filtration on intake and exhalation, but also ensure that the masks are made of a durable material that will not stain the wearers face or make it hard to breathe. Masks are required to have an easy method to change the filter without tools.

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