Respiratory protection: uvex Respiratory Expert System

Your personal navigator through respiratory protection provides you with basic knowledge, practical tips and information on the legal frameworks – helping you find a perfectly fitting face mask for your work.

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The fast route to finding the right respirator for your needs

Choosing the right respiratory protective devices is essential for ensuring the safety of the respective wearer and is a process that requires the utmost care. In order to choose the filtering respirator that meets your requirements, please observe the following points:

  • The type, composition and concentration of the respective hazardous substances must be provided and known (note the CAS number). The measurement can be carried out by the employers’ liability insurance association, for example. In addition, the respective work conditions with due regard to occupational exposure limit values must be known.
  • There must be a sufficient volume of oxygen in the environment. Please observe the legal provisions regarding this; in Germany, 17 vol. % is required as a minimum.
  • If further PPE is required, this must be compatible. uvex respirators are particularly ideal for use in combination with uvex safety spectacles.
  • Respiratory protective devices are not suitable for persons with beards, sideburns or deep scars in the area of the respirator sealing lines.
  • Masks designated with "NR" can be used for up to eight hours. Masks designated with "R" may be used for up to 24hours but must be cleaned after each period of use. As a general rule, a mask with a noticeably increasing level of breathing resistance must be replaced.
  • After determining/being advised on the protection class required (FFP 1, FFP 2 or FFP 3) – through the respective employers’ liability insurance association, for example – the following table can be used to select a respirator model that meets the requirements of the respective work conditions. Please note that we only offer our FFP 3 masks with an exhalation valve in order to give you the highest possible level of wearer comfort.

If a gas mask is required for the workspace, please note that the uvex respirator models do not offer adequate protection.

Selecting the right mask for the task

Brief periods of use or lighter activities at normal ambient temperatures
Protection class Folding masks (with or without valve) Cup-style masks (with or without valve)
FFP1 3100, 3110, 8103, 8113, 5100, 5110 2100, 2110, 7100, 7110
FFP23200, 3210, 8203, 8213, 5200, 5210 2200, 2210, 7200, 7210, 7212
FFP3 3310, 8313, 5310 2310, 2312, 7310
Long periods of wear or hard, strenuous activities at increased ambient temperatures
Protection class Folding masks (with valve) Cup-style masks (with valve)
FFP1 3110, 8113, 5110 2110, 7110
FFP2 3210, 8213, 5210 2210, 7210, 7212, 7233, 7232
FFP33310, 8313, 5320 2310, 2312, 7310, 7333, 7330, 7312, 7315
With activated carbon layer to protect against unpleasant odours
Protection class Folding masks (with valve) Cup-style masks (with valve)
FFP23220, 5220 2220, 7220
FFP35320 7320

Areas of application

ActivityHarmful substancesProtection class
Wood processing
Softwood: cutting and sandingFine particles, wood dustX
Hard wood (oak, beech, tropical woods, etc.): cutting and sandingFine particles, wood dustX
Brushing/sanding paintFine colour particlesX
Brushing/sanding paint (paints containing chrome)Fine colour particlesX
Soluble paints containing copper/chrome/arsenic Fine paint mistX
Construction and ancillary building industry
Cement work, plastering, tiling, roofingCement, plaster, tile or brick dustX
Masonry: cutting, drilling, demolitionX
Asbestos: short periods of workFibresX
Roof insulation: glass and mineral fibres Dust and fibresX
Bodyfillers/stopper: grindingDustX
Welding aluminium and stainless steelMetal and aluminium oxide fumesX
Metal: drilling, grinding, milling, angle grinding Metal dust X
High-alloy steels and stainless steels: drilling, grinding, milling, angle grinding Metal dust X
Waste disposal and cleaning
Refuse separation and disposal Dust, fungiX
Medical waste disposal Bacteria, sporesX
Sweeping floors Dust (non-toxic)X
Radioactively contaminated particlesDustX
Animal epidemics and treatment of animals with diseasesBacteria, virusesX
Work with fungal sporesSporesX
Work with hay, grain and flourDustX
Allergies, pollen, household dust, animal fur Dust, particles, sporesX
Bacteria, viruses, infections, legionella bacteria Bacteria, virusesX

These filter classes are minimum requirements and simply serve as a guide. It is the wearers’ responsibility to make sure the breathing apparatus conforms to the requirements in terms of hazardous materials and concentration before use!

Particle filters are divided into three classes:

  • FFP 1: For particles that are neither toxic nor associated with fibrosis. For protection up to 4 times the corresponding threshold limit value (OELs*).
  • FFP2: For hazardous or harmful particles, vapour and smoke; filters for solid and liquid particles witha medium filtering level. For protection up to 10 times the corresponding threshold value (OELs*).
  • FFP3: For poisonous particles, vapour and smoke; filters for solid and liquid aerosols with a high filtering classification. For protection up to 30 times the corresponding threshold limit value (OELs*).

* OELs = The occupational exposure limit values (OELs) are the average concentration of a substance in the air in the workplace, up to which no damage (chronic or acute) is to be expected if employees work there for eight hours a day for five days a week. The OELs replace the maximum workplace concentration (MWC) and the technical reference concentration (TRC) – however, as long as both of these values are not yet fully taken into account in the OELs, they can still be used on an interim basis for assessing risks in the workplace.