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Compare respirator masks under different standards

Learn to identify different respirators that have similar performances. The conformity standards compared are:

United States: NIOSH-42CFR84

Europe: EN 149-2001-A1-2009

China: GB2626-2006

AS/NZA: 1716:2012

China: GB 19083 - 2010


Respirators are regulated by different standards in different regions. The standards state the physical properties as well as performance requirements that respirators should meet for conformity. Under emergency situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic, local respirator stocks can quickly run out, requiring the use of respirators conformed to different standards. Under these circumstances authorities may recommend using equivalently specified respirators.

This article compares specifications required under the following standards:

  • United States: NIOSH-42CFR84

  • Europe: EN 149-2001-A1-2009

  • China: GB2626-2006

  • AS/NZA: 1716:2012

  • China: GB 19083 - 2010

The following summary tables group similar performance criteria under the different standards. Respirators that meet the standards (and tested for conformity by respected testing bodies) are expected to have similar performances to each other.

One point that may cause confusion is the different flow rates used for both inhalation and exhalation resistance tests. Inhalation test flow rates range from 30L/min to 95L/min. Exhalation test flow rates range from 85L/min to 160L/min. Some standards call for testing under different flow rates, while others only use a fixed flow rates. Although these different specification may seem like they are different in performance, it is important to note the pressure drop will be greater at higher flow rates and vice versa. Based on this understanding, one can reasonably assume that different class respirators with similar filtering properties are also similar in overall performance.


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