In August 2009, the EN 149: 2001 standard was supplemented by the CEN (Comité Européen de Normalization), European Committee for Standardisation, with Annex A1: 2009. The designation of the current standard is EN 149: 2001 + A1: 2009.
The national standardisation institutes of the following countries are required to adopt this European Standard: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, United Kingdom and Cyprus.
Why was EN149: 2001 amended?
According to EN 149: 2001, the particle-filtering half mask was fed into a test chamber with the test aerosols. After 3 minutes, the passage of the test aerosols was measured. In use, it has been shown that some masks had passed this test, but their filter performance nevertheless deteriorated quickly. In addition, the service life of the particle-filtering half masks was not clearly regulated.
The supplement A1: 2009 regulated the test method for the passage of the filter medium and regulated the service life of the particle-filtering half masks. In addition, the labelling of the particle filtering half masks was clearly defined.
This addition offers the user more security and clarity.
Regulation of the service life
According to EN 149: 2001 + A1: 2009 it is indicated whether a particle-filtering half mask can only be reused for one shift or beyond. For this purpose, an “R” for reusable or an “NR” for non-reusable is added to the article name after the code number for the protection level.
Example: If a respirator of protection level FFP3 is intended to be used for a work shift, this mask must read "FFP3 NR". If it is reusable, the designation is "FFP3 R".
What is a "Dolomite Test"?
The particle-filtering half mask is ventilated with an artificial lung for a certain time with a known concentration of Dolomite dust. A test for breathing resistance and filter permeability is then carried out. Defined values must not be exceeded. The particle-filtering half mask that has passed the “Dolomite Test” must also be marked with the letter “D”, for example “FFP3 R D”.
A “Dolomite Test” must be carried out for reusable masks. In the case of particle filtering half masks that are intended for one shift, this test can be carried out on a voluntary basis.
A particle-filtering half mask, which is intended for one shift and has passed the voluntary “Dolomite Test”, offers greater breathing comfort and safer protection.
What are the special features of reusable masks?
The mask must be cleaned and disinfected between two layers. A corresponding information brochure from the manufacturer must give precise instructions on cleaning, disinfection and storage. A reusable mask must pass the "Dolomite Test" and bear the identifier "D". The complete identification would then be, for example, "FFP3 R D".
Are DACH masks reusable?
In order to clean, disinfect and properly store masks between two shifts, a considerable amount of effort has to be made, which we consider uneconomical, considering the low price of our masks. There are also security risks if errors occur during cleaning, disinfection and storage.
Since the advantages of a particle-filtering disposable half mask prevail, all DACH half masks are intended for use in just one work shift.