Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators

Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators

Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs) are designed to reduce inhalation exposure to contaminants by filtering out airborne particles. Unlike face masks, FFRs are approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and have an Assigned Protection Factor (APF) of 10. They are equipped with two straps and must display appropriate NIOSH markings on the mask itself.

Particulate FFRs are made with a multi-layer, non-woven polypropylene material and are available with or without an exhalation valve. They come in a variety of shapes, including:

  • Semi-hard, molded dome or cup
  • Folded or flat-fold
  • Pouch or duckbill, with an extended breathing chamber


Particulate FFRs are intended for one-time use. They are not washable and therefore do not have a long life cycle. Ideally, they should be discarded when they become damaged or deformed, wet or visibly dirty, contaminated with bodily fluids, or are no longer able to form an effective seal to the face.

While particulate FFRs are NIOSH tested and certified, NIOSH does not approve KN95, KF94, or any other respiratory products that may have international certifications. Regulatory compliance details for these devices are available at the individual product level.

All NIOSH-approved particulate FFRs are classified by a two-part system to indicate the filter’s functionality. Letter designations of N, R, and P refer to oil resistance. Number designations refer to the minimum filter efficiency level.

N-Series Filters – Not Resistant to Oil

  • N95 – Filters at least 95% of airborne particles
  • Surgical N95 – A NIOSH-approved N95 respirator cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a surgical mask
  • N99 – Filters at least 99% of airborne particles
  • N100 – Filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles


R-Series Filters – Resistant to Oil

  • R95 – Filters at least 95% of airborne particles


P-Series Filters – Strongly Resistant to Oil

  • P95 – Filters at least 95% of airborne particles
  • P99 – Filters at least 99% of airborne particles
  • P100 – Filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles
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