15 June 2020
First in South Africa
3 ply face mask with replaceable filter providing FFP2 performance
The current Situation
The COVID-19 global pandemic and the resulting lockdown in South Africa, has had an immeasurable impact on the lives of all South Africans and has ushered in an era of focus on protection from and the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus. We have become used to a “new normal” with rules and regulations around wearing masks, sanitising hands and surfaces and practicing social distancing as part of our daily routine. These necessary changes have become even more important in the light of the reduction of the lockdown status and the gradual return to normal business and social practices. However in this new world we now find a wide variety of essential products, all promising protection with wildly fluctuating price points and subtle technical differences, providing an obstacle course to the uninitiated. It is against this backdrop that G.Fox has innovated to bring to the market a new face mask that not only provides excellent levels of protection but is reusable as well.
What is a FFP2 face mask
The term FFP2 refers to a class of particulate respirator or face mask based on the European standard EN 149: 2001. In this standard for filtering respirators the class is assigned subsequent to tests performed on the mask depending on the filtration performance as well as the amount of air leakage recorded. These classes follow the following guidelines:
• FFP1 refers to the lowest level of accepted performance with an aerosol filtration of at least 80% and leakage to the inside of maximum 22%. This class of mask is mainly used as a particle filtering dust mask used in light construction and home renovations.
• FFP2 refers to the mid level of accepted performance with an aerosol filtration minimum of 94% and maximum 8% leakage to the inside. They are mainly used in heavy construction, manufacturing and by the healthcare industry. They are currently recommended internationally for protection against the coronavirus.
• FFP3 refers to the highest level of accepted performance with a minimum filtration percentage of 99% and maximum 2% leakage to the inside, they protect against very fine particles such as asbestos.
The vast majority of particle respirators and surgical masks available today for protection for South Africans are single use only, disposable protection devices. This means that they have been manufactured to be replaced subsequent to a single use or work shift as well as should the mask become damaged, or soiled or the user experience an improper seal or difficulty breathing. In addition these protective devices are not to be disinfected, cleaned, altered, modified or repaired in any way resulting in rapid turnover of stock and adding real cost to the already stretched thin budgets of companies trying to keep the doors open whilst complying with regulations and protecting their employees and customers.
What is the new G.Fox product and what makes it different
As South Africa’s premier supplier of PPE, G.Fox has been uniquely positioned to respond to the national pandemic and has innovated and provided essential COVID-19 products since the beginning of the outbreak in South Africa. Leveraging our technical expertise and existing manufacturing capabilities, we realised that there is a very real need for a FFP2 protection level mask which can be cleaned and reused with a replaceable filter, providing excellent protection performance together with a budget relieving cost and replacement model to aid our customers in keeping the doors open.
The ZZZSAFEM31 mask is a 3 ply particle respirator when used with the provided replaceable filter providing FFP2 level performance (95.2% filtration on particle size 5 microns) as measured during our stringent product tests. This mask also introduces the flexibility of cleaning, sanitising and reusing the outer mask and replacing the inner filter layer. Made from a tight weave woven fabric, the mask is manufactured in accordance with DTI recommended guidelines and has been designed for a comfortable and secure all day fit. The mask is offered in packs of 20 containing filters with replacement filter packs available from any of the G.Fox branches countrywide.
Take a closer look at G.Fox’s new 3 ply FFP2 performance mask here: ZZZSAFEM31