Germany: German experts see FFP2 duty positively – health & life


Gérard Krause from the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig explained that FFP2 masks offer a demonstrably better self-protection than simple surgical mouth and nose covering. In addition, the range of quality of simple mouth and nose covers seems to be very variable – and the way they are worn is often inadequate. “With FFP2 masks, these two difficulties do not seem to be as pronounced, so that better effectiveness can be expected for this reason too.”

But there are also more skeptical voices about the FFP2 obligation. “I don’t think that makes a big difference,” said Johannes Knobloch, head of hospital hygiene at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, of the German press agency. “In the worst case scenario, things can get worse because people feel more protected and are less cautious.”

A FFP2 mask requires great expertise, it comes from occupational safety and is not intended for laypeople. “If it is not put on absolutely tightly, it does not work better than a simple disposable mask,” says Knobloch. The breathing resistance is greater with the denser FFP2 masks than with the simple plastic or self-sewn fabric masks. “I always breathe at least partially through a fabric mask, but if there is a small gap somewhere on the face with an FFP2 mask, almost all of the air goes through there – and with it the virus.”

It is also unclear to many people that beards cannot wear an FFP2 mask tightly, explained Knobloch. “Men can only wear it with clean-shaven skin.”

The President of the Society for Aerosol Research, Christof Asbach, warns against misconceptions regarding the safety of FFP2 masks. These would not offer 100% protection even if they were worn perfectly, Asbach told the German press agency. According to the requirements, the masks would have to filter 94 percent of the particles – 6 percent still passed. “You also generally have to free yourself from the idea that there is one single measure that reduces the risk of infection to zero.” A mix is ​​important.

According to Asbach, it makes little difference whether the respirators are from classes FFP2, N95 or KN95.

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Germany German experts FFP2 duty positively health life


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