When it comes to face masks, specifically surgical-procedure masks and N95 respirator masks, it's important to know the key differences and how to achieve a proper fit.
Differentiating N95 and P2 Classification
The N95 mask adheres to the NIOSH (USA testing requirements), while the P2 classification represents the EC (European testing requirements). However, these distinctions do not impact the level of protection for the wearer.
Studies on Filtration Performance
A summary of tests published in the Oxford journal highlights the comparison of Nano-particle Filtration Performance between NIOSH-approved and CE-marked FFRs (Filtering Facepiece Respirators). Both NIOSH and EN have specific efficiency requirements for different classes of respirators.
The summary of tests published in the Oxford journal:
Comparison of Nano-particle Filtration Performance of NIOSH-approved and CE-Marked Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators.
“The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and European Norms (ENs) employ different test protocols for evaluation of air-purifying particulate respirators commonly referred to as filtering face piece respirators (FFR). The relative performance of the NIOSH-approved and EN-certified ‘Conformité Européen’ (CE)-marked FFR is not well studied.
NIOSH requires a minimum of 95 and 99.97% efficiencies for N95 and P100 FFR, respectively; meanwhile, the EN requires 94 and 99% efficiencies for FFRs, class P2 (FFP2) and class P3 (FFP3), respectively.”Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society https://annhyg.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/53/2/117