Since the epidemic hit Hong Kong,mask have become an important part of our life. But do you know how to choose the right mask? And what do BFE, PFE, and VFE represent? In this article, Gogo herbs will introduce you to the knowledge of mask protection standards for you, let’s take a look!
What do BFE, PFE and VFE actually mean?
BFE: (Bacterial Filtration Efficiency), is used to measure the efficiency of the mask filtering bacteria. The test is for particles with a size of 3 microns. For example, BFE>95% means that the mask can block 95% of particles with a size greater than 3 microns.
PFE: (Particulate Filtration Efficiency), is the particle filtering effect, used to measure the efficiency of the mask to filter particles. The test is for particles with a size of 0.1 microns. For example, PFE>95% means that the mask can block particles 95% with a size larger than 0.1 microns.
VFE: (Viral Filtration Efficiency), is used to measure the efficiency of the mask to filter viruses. The test is for particles with a size of 0.1-5 microns (average 2.8 microns). For example, PFE>95% means that the mask can block 95% of particles larger than 2.8 microns.
National mask grade standards
American masks: ASTM Level
ASTM levels refer to masks that comply with American Society for Testing and Materials International standards. There are three grades.
Level 1 (low protection): BFE and PFE data must exceed> 95%. Level 2 (medium protection): BFE and PFE data must exceed> 98%. Level 3 (high protection): BFE, PFE data must exceed> 98%, and synthetic blood penetration must exceed> 160mmHg.
European mask: EN14683
Europe uses the EN14683 classification standard, which is divided into three levels like ASTM.
Type I (low protection): BFE data needs to exceed> 95%. Type II (medium protection): BFE data must exceed> 98%. Type IIR (high protection): BFE data must exceed> 98%, and synthetic blood penetration must exceed> 120mmHg.
Japanese mask: PM2.5 Japanese masks are often marked with "PM2.5". Masks can effectively block particles larger than 2.5 microns in the air, such as air pollution suspended particles. For example, Japanese masks that only label "PM2.5" or "anti-pollen" are mostly only for second-hand smoke, air pollution, pollen and dust particles, etc. It is recommended to choose masks with BFE, PFE, and VFE data to know whether they are effective Block bacteria and viruses.
Which standard fits the situation in Hong Kong?Although bacteria and viruses are both microorganisms with small sizes, they usually adhere to larger droplet particles when they spread. So under normal situations, choosing BFE/PFE/VFE>95% (ASTM Level 1), which can block droplets, is already enough to prevent new coronary pneumonia. Moreover, in the crowded environment of Hong Kong, we should also consider the air permeability of masks.
Do you have a better understanding of the classification of masks after reading this article? Only by knowing the standard of mask protection can you choose a mask that suits you.