August 17, 2022

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Do FFP2 Masks Help Fight Omicron?

Do FFP2 Masks Help Fight Omicron?

At the start of the pandemic, respiratory masks (FFP2, FFP3) were scarce and had to be allocated to healthcare staff. In the meantime, this rarity has been resolved, although according to official guidelines it is still reserved for some health professionals. However, they are more and more popping up on the streets and GEMS experts recently drafted their advice to an advisory committee to buy more FFP2 masks for people at risk in situations where the risk of contamination is high. But when is this respiratory mask really useful?

Read all about the different types of mouth masks in our comprehensive portfolio.

To the mouth masks file

risk values

The risk of infection increases the less ventilated the room you are in, the longer you are in close contact with others, when others do not or are wearing their masks incorrectly, and during activities where a lot of droplets form, such as singing or talking a lot. These aerosols are tiny droplets that float in the air like a kind of cloud. The higher these factors are, the higher the risk of contamination and the more you will benefit from the FFP2 mask. We are considering, for example, a long commute on public transport or jobs with many contacts, such as a store assistant.

In addition, the more contagious omikron variant currently poses an additional risk of infection, especially for those who have not yet received a booster vaccine. So definitely keep that in mind when choosing.

Protection for yourself and others

Surgical masks, disposable comfort masks, and fabric masks are mainly worn to protect others, but do not protect the wearer themselves from inhaling aerosol droplets. FFP2 masks do. Several lab and model-based studies clearly show that respiratory masks filter inhaled and exhaled air well, especially if they fit snugly to the face. However, there is no convincing evidence so far that FFP2/FFP3 masks protect the wearer better from corona infection than surgical masks in everyday life.

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Vulnerable people should opt for these FFP2 masks anyway. We think primarily of people with weakened immune systems, the elderly and people with certain underlying conditions (such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung disease). People who often interact with vulnerable people should opt for this additional protection.

make the balance

Whether the additional protection that the FFP2 provides you with outweighs the high cost and the fact that it makes breathing more difficult is a choice you have to make on your own. However, we are happy to help you on your way to listing all the factors using the tool below.