Protective mask guide
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Respiratory protection and protective masks

What to look for when buying FFP2/KN95 respirators with particle filters and face masks.

European-tested protective masks with documented filter performance > 95 %

Masks are an indispensable means of protecting ourselves and others in the pandemic, says Prof. Dr. Christian Kähler from the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich. However, the decisive factors for infection protection are the quality of the mask and how it fits. You will find out everything you need to know about wearing masks as protection against infection in the current webinar by Professor Christian Kähler.

Especially for support requests from municipalities, authorities and hospitals, Trotec has set up a consulting team answering all questions regarding the coronavirus and the safe purchase of European-tested masks. Being a Heinsberg-based company, we are familiar with the current concerns and problems in healthcare and are happy to share this expertise with you as well.

You can contact our consulting team Monday to Friday from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. by calling +49 2452 962-400. You can also contact our team by sending an E-mail to info@trotec.de.

Protective masks: What masks are available from Trotec and how do they protect?

Protective effect of different types of masks

The most important question first: who is protected by a mask?

The subject of “respirators” is currently on everyone’s lips. Among medical staff in hospitals. And among everyone at home on the sofa – because we all want to go shopping again in the near future without fearing a coronavirus infection. But wait a minute, do we want to secure ourselves from others? Or shield others from ourselves? Self-protection or protection of others? Or both at the same time? Let’s take a revealing look behind the mask ...

Scientists and health authorities assume that coronaviruses are mainly passed on via droplet and contact infection – i.e. through direct coughing or sneezing or through physical contact with an infected person. The classification of the masks reflects this assessment in a ranking: the basis for assessing the quality of a mask is either the reduction in droplet release or the partial to complete filtration of the droplets. And all this depending on the mask’s purpose: for self-protection or for the protection of others. Or for both purposes.

Scarves, shawls, homemade face coverings

  • does not provide self-protection against droplets emitted by an infected person coughing or sneezing
  • however, reduces the risk of a “smear infection” caused by touching your mouth or nose with your own hand
  • is primarily intended for the protection of others, because it reduces the release of droplets in case of an infection

Paper mask

  • does not provide self-protection against droplets emitted by an infected person coughing or sneezing
  • however, reduces the risk of a “smear infection” caused by touching your mouth or nose with your own hand
  • is primarily intended for the protection of others, because it reduces the release of droplets in case of an infection

Protective masks for mouth and nose and face masks for medical use

  • does not provide self-protection against droplets emitted by an infected person coughing or sneezing
  • however, reduces the risk of a “smear infection” caused by touching your mouth or nose with your own hand
  • is primarily intended for the protection of others, because it reduces the release of droplets in case of an infection

Safety: How to identify fake respirators

Fake masks

Ineffective protective masks entail an enormous risk potential

It is an open secret that the European market for protective masks is currently flooded with inferior and even useless masks. Experts assume that more than 90 % of the face masks (commonly known as surgical masks) available on the market are of inferior quality and in some cases even hazardous to health. Respirators with particle filters are also increasingly identified as counterfeits and confiscated. The Osnabrück Medical Association has long warned against fake FFP2 masks without a test seal.

The list of known fraud, hygiene and quality deficiencies in connection with respirators is growing daily:

  • Masks are sold without a test seal and without a CE marking
  • Certificates, protection classes and test standards are fake
  • Particle filters are inferior or completely ineffective
  • Filter fleece layers are replaced by useless paper fleece
  • Hygiene deficiencies occurring already in production make the masks unusable

Especially FFP2 and FFP3 masks are indispensable in medical care. The particle-filtering masks filter droplets, smoke and fine dust from the breathing air and are particularly suitable for reducing the risk of a coronavirus infection. Likewise, medical protective masks (surgical masks) are desperately needed in the care sector to protect the mostly elderly patients with a weak immune system. However, if doctors and nurses unknowingly use fake masks, this can lead to a collapse of the health system, as more and more medical staff become infected with the dangerous coronavirus and are not available for patient care.

Eyes open when buying masks! This way you can identify fake respirators with particle filter as well as inferior face masks.

For respirators with particle filters (KN95, N95, DS2, FFP2/FFP3) there is a legal labelling obligation

Whether a respirator with particle filter meets the requirements of the relevant testing and certification bodies is checked by means of a conformity assessment procedure and, if proven effective, guaranteed with a CE marking. In addition to the CE marking, there are a number of other obligations, especially for respirators with FFP filters, before they can be placed on the market.

Important: The testing and certification body is identified by a 4-digit number following the CE. If this number and/or the CE mark is missing, you should better avoid this product. Whether or not the number of the test body exists can be checked on the website of the European Commission.

Respirators with foreign standardisation (KN95, N95 or DS2)

Respirators with the designation KN95, N95 or DS2 comply with the European standard in many parts. In the current crisis situation, masks of this type are subject to an exemption by the European Union.

KN95 masks that comply with GB2626-2006, NIOSH approved42 CFR 84 or JMHLW-2000 may be imported without a CE marking.

Insist on a European test protocol

Precisely because the market is flooded with fake protective masks, you should not rely solely on the statements made by the seller. Ask for a European test certificate as proof of the advertised filter performance. Or simply rely on the quality masks from Trotec, whose suitability has been confirmed by European test centres.

The following information must be given on a protective mask

Inferior face masks can be identified immediately with Trotec’s 4-point fake check.

You can easily check whether a commercially available face mask meets the qualitative requirements for a safe mask with Trotec’s 4-point fake check. You do have to “sacrifice” a mask for this, but it may be just this one destroyed mask that saves you or other people from the serious consequences of an infection with the dangerous coronavirus.

  • The form test

    High-quality protective masks have an anatomically adjustable nose piece. It allows you to optimally adjust the mask to your facial features. The nose piece keeps its shape while you are wearing the mask. This is often not the case with inferior masks. Dangerous germs can thus be inhaled or exhaled.

  • The water test

    Quality masks are waterproof and do not get soaked. Use the mask like a coffee filter and pour water onto the mask’s surface. The water should “dance” on the surface – without soaking through. Dab the mask filled with water onto a napkin. If the napkin remains dry, the mask offers safe protection against moisture when speaking. If the napkin becomes damp, then the mask material is of inferior quality.

  • The filter layer test

    Three-layer protective masks use a high-quality melt-blown filter fleece as the middle layer. Cut the mask and check the middle layer. Only masks with a fleece of melt-spun microfibres have a filtering effect and prevent the penetration of pathogenic germs. However, if the middle layer is made of plain paper, then expenses have been cut in the wrong and most important area – the filter function!

  • The fire test

    The crucial test for high-quality face masks is the fire test. Because: high-quality masks do not burn! Genuine filter fleece made of melt-spun microfibres is non-flammable. It melts! The situation is different for protective masks without a filter fleece. These masks go up like tinder and you can be sure that they do not have a protective filter fleece.

Quality: Tested quality masks from Trotec – tested in EU test centres

We’ve got it in writing!

Our face masks have been tested in European testing laboratories.

The supply situation of high-quality respirators approved for medical use remains tight worldwide. Urgently needed protective masks with particle filtration are difficult to obtain – or only through dubious distribution channels, where the required certificates and test reports are often missing or fake.

Immediately available respirators with a traceable origin and genuine certification are rather rare on the global market.

For a good reason: those who, like Trotec, adhere to the usual procedure of certification, for example by TÜV Nord, and have the effectiveness of the filter technology tested by independent European institutes, are currently the ones who get the short end of the stick. The cost-intensive testing takes time and, for understandable reasons, the masks may only be placed on the market after successful certification.

To protect our customers, every incoming shipment of protective masks is randomly tested in independent testing laboratories in Europe for performance requirements such as filter performance and breathing resistance.

TROTEC takes care

Tested quality with extra safety for the most important thing we all have: our health.

Thumbnails masks (not visible)

Show 3-layer protective mask, disposable face mask in the Trotec online shop

3-layer protective mask, disposable face mask in packs of 50, 150 and 500

3-layer protective mask, disposable face mask in packs of 50, 150 and 500

You save: 44 %

from: €21.54 plus VAT
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Protective masks from Trotec

Disposable face masks from Trotec meet the performance requirements of GB/T 32610-2016

We have had the filter quality and breathing resistance of all masks in stock tested at accredited test centres. They meet all performance requirements of GB/T 32610-2016.

Maximum wearing comfort is guaranteed by the anatomically adjustable fit and the mask edges made of soft fleece. The flexible elastic bands and the individually adjustable nose piece minimise the feeling of pressure during wear, so that the masks do not become uncomfortable even if they are worn for a long time.

  • 3-layer face mask with filter fleece
  • Protective mask according to the test protocol of an accredited European laboratory in the context of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Meets all performance requirements of GB/T 32610-2016
  • High-quality and skin-friendly face mask with high wearing comfort thanks to elastic rubber bands and nose piece
Show 3-layer protective mask, disposable face mask in the Trotec online shop

3-layer protective mask, disposable face mask in packs of 50, 150 and 500

3-layer protective mask, disposable face mask in packs of 50, 150 and 500

You save: 44 %

from: €21.54 plus VAT
show gross price (VAT included)

Buy now

Disposable face mask from Trotec
Disposable face mask from Trotec
Disposable face mask from Trotec
Disposable face mask from Trotec

Tested masks from German production

Our disposable face masks made of high-quality melt-blown filter fleece are manufactured in Germany. The German test centre fiatec certified that the filter material has a filter performance of 99.5 % (particles ≥ 0.3 µm) tested in accordance with DIN 71460-1

With the disposable face masks manufactured in Germany, we offer our customers an alternative to cloth face masks. The melt-blown filter fleece is also used in medical FFP3 protective masks and the masks are manufactured according to the high standards of current filter technology.

Rely on tested safety and quality from Germany:

  • German instructions for use with additional illustrations
  • Manufactured according to the high quality standard of German filter technology
  • Filter performance tested in Germany according to DIN 71460-1
  • Documented origin and 100 % genuine
  • High level of protection against airborne pollutants for the whole family

To protect our customers, we only sell protective masks whose filter performance has been tested in European test centres. With masks from Trotec you can be sure to purchase tested quality products only.

TROTEC takes care

Tested quality with extra safety for the most important thing we all have: our health.

Face mask – Made in Germany
Face mask – Made in Germany
Disposable face masks from Germany
Disposable face masks from Germany
Disposable face masks from Germany

Disposable face masks from Germany in a pack of 10 – face covering made of high-quality filter fleece manufactured using the melt-blown process, tested in accordance with DIN 71460-1

Our face masks are manufactured in Germany and made of a high-quality melt-blown filter fleece, which is also used for the production of FFP3 medical respirators. The test engineers of the German test centre fiatec Filter & Aerosol Technologie GmbH have certified that the filter fleece has a filter performance of 99.5 %. Particle filtration test according to DIN 71460-1, carried out in February 2020. The test report is available on request.

Do not put your trust in simple cloth masks with limited or non-existent filter performance. Rely on high-quality disposable face masks made in Germany for permanent health and family protection. Due to its sewn shape and special cut, this mask does not need a metal nose piece. The elastic band ensures an optimal fit of the mask – without any feeling of pressure.

Made in Germany, tested in Germany, shipped from Germany!

  • Self-protection and protection of others in case of airborne infections by aerosols
  • Filter performance according to DIN 71460-1 0.3 µm > 99.5 % and 0.5 µm 100 %
  • Filter material corresponds to melt-blown filter fleece according to standard FFP3
  • Manufactured in Germany
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Click here to go directly to the scientific protection concept for schools

Normality, how does that work?
Information for teachers and parents:

Everything has changed since COVID-19. We are faced with a different kind of everyday life. However, the longing for familiar normality persists. Are there solutions that can make school life more pleasant and uncomplicated again for everyone involved?

Click here to find out about a scientific protection concept for schools, which improves protection against the risk of infection and still simplifies everyday school life.

Application: How to correctly put on and wear a protective mask

How to wear a protective mask correctly

How to wear a face mask correctly

The incorrect or negligent use of a face mask is not beneficial for anyone – except the coronavirus! In addition to other hygiene measures, the compulsory use of masks throughout Germany could be a valuable component in further reducing the risk of infection by the virus, though. But to achieve this, the face mask must be used and put on correctly.

We will explain what is important when putting on and wearing a mask – and this applies both in general and for Trotec’s face masks.

  • It is no coincidence that the masks are sometimes referred to as mouth and nose protection. Therefore, make sure that both your mouth and nose are covered by the mask. Avoid covering the tip of your nose only, and do not wear the mask under your nose either.
  • The chin should also be completely covered. The lower edge of the mask should ideally extend over the chin, as is also intended and possible with Trotec’s face masks.
  • If the mask has become moist from the air you breathe, you should change it immediately. But please make sure not to touch the front of the mask to check it for moisture. This is where the potential pathogens are!
  • Always pay attention that the mask is not too loose. The bands should be tightly stretched. This is the only way to ensure that the mask fits tightly on the bridge of the nose and on the cheeks.
  • Before putting on and after taking off the mask, you should wash your hands thoroughly. Ideally with soap and for at least 20 seconds.
  • When putting on and taking off the mask, you should only hold it by the straps or bands. Do not touch the inside of your face mask.
  • Spectacle wearers should first put on the mask and then the glasses. This prevents your glasses from sitting under the mask instead of on top of it.

Service: Disinfection and reuse of masks

What you should know about using disposable masks several times

Common face masks are disposable items whose protective effect is not guaranteed if they are used several times. Even if virologists like Christian Drosten from the Berlin Charité are confident that masks can be disinfected at temperatures of around 80 degrees Celsius in the oven, this heat treatment is not beneficial to material quality. In the worst case scenario, the rubber bands needed for fixation will tear as a result of multiple use just when the mask is needed the most!

What makes disposable masks tear?

The disposable face masks offered by Trotec consist of three durable fleece layers. The mask is fixed behind the ears with elastic bands. Due to the processed melt-blown fleece, which serves as a physical protective screen against aerosols and droplets, the actual mask is largely tear-resistant. However, this only applies to a limited extent with regard to the elastic bands! Multiple use causes the elastic bands to wear out, tear or sometimes come loose from the mask fleece. Good to know: Material defects may occur – but will be replaced by Trotec free of charge! Production-related material defects can never be 100 % excluded. This also applies to disposable items. The material tolerance is below 3 % for Trotec’s face masks. So should an elastic band tear during initial use, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service. In the event of material defects, we will of course supply a replacement free of charge!

Everyone is different! This is also true for heads and face shapes!

When putting on your mask, you should make sure that the elastic bands are not strained too much. This may sound strange, but there is simply no such thing as a run-of-the-mill head. Children have smaller heads than adults because they are not yet fully grown, and more voluminous people have wider faces than professional athletes. Depending on the head shape and ear position the elastic band is thus strained more or less when putting on the mask.

Optimally fitting masks require some practice – but offer the best protection!

Practicing how to put on a mask in front of the mirror is nothing to be ashamed of. Quite on the contrary! A correctly fitting mask protects more reliably than a more or less fitting mask, where pathogenic germs can flow in and out at the top or bottom. Therefore, disposable masks already worn should not be reused, except in extreme emergencies. The better way is to stock up on masks early on, as the coronavirus will certainly be with us for some time to come.

Do not reuse protective masks

FAQ: The most frequent questions and answers on face masks and their everyday use!

Can masks be disinfected in the microwave? or Do masks make us tired and unable to concentrate?

We have collected the most frequently asked questions for you

There are many rumours circulating about the health compatibility of masks: Does a face mask make us tired? Does a mask increase the CO2 concentration in the blood? Are masks dangerous for children?

This page provides answers to these and other questions!

Can masks be disinfected in the microwave?

Most protective masks have a metal nose piece, which causes sparking when put in the microwave and in the worst case can start a fire. We therefore strongly advise you not to use a mask, which is intended for single use only anyway, more than once!

Conclusion: Hygienic disposables such as face masks or respirators should only be used more than once in an emergency.

Do masks make us tired and unable to concentrate?

Again and again, a 15-year-old study is quoted that specifically looked at masks for medical staff, who often have to wear surgical masks for hours at a time – and not just for a quick stop at the supermarket. In fact, breathing in and out under a well-sealed mask can increase the CO2 concentration in the blood. However, the increase only amounts to twenty-five per cent for one hour of wearing the mask, which, according to the study, “quickly” drops again after the mask is taken off. This would not cause any heart irregularities or problems in fine motor skills. Only very sensitive people would possibly feel a slight tiredness.

Conclusion: The increased fatigue that can occur when wearing a mask for a longer period of time is rather negligible compared to the protective effect of the mask. The fatigue effect is not serious and rather unlikely.

Do masks bring more germs into the lungs instead of fewer?

Some claim that wearing a mask brings “germs into the lungs”. Infectiologists from university hospitals, whose teams work with masks on a daily basis, firmly reject this as incorrect and unfounded. They are not aware of any studies on an increased incidence of lung disease among hospital staff who regularly wear masks. It is important to handle the masks only with clean hands and to touch only the elastic bands, not the fabric surface. Furthermore, the masks should be kept in a clean place after washing.

Conclusion: The opposite is true: if masks are cleaned properly and regularly and are put on correctly, they do not bring germs into the lungs, but protect the lungs from germs.

Aren’t masks too dangerous for children?

Chain letters on WhatsApp warn against putting masks on children under the age of twelve because children would get “too little air” and the CO2 collected under the mask could lead to “respiratory paralysis”. But one should know that central respiratory paralysis is usually accompanied by fatigue and even clouding of consciousness. So before there is any relevant respiratory paralysis, one would notice how the child would become unusually tired. By the way, specialists remark that, for example, children with cancer or children in the Asian region often wear their masks for the whole day without losing consciousness.

Conclusion: Experienced doctors who know the daily routine in hospitals can only shake their heads on this point: there are no indications and certainly no evidence of a danger, they say unanimously.

Doesn’t the risk of infection increase when children are playing with the masks?

Thomas Fischbach, the president of the German Professional Association of Paediatricians, warned against making masks compulsory for kindergarten children. He told the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe that many of them would “rather regard the face mask as a toy, play with it and thus increase the risk of infection even more”.

Conclusion: From the point of view of developmental psychology, compulsory masks only make sense from primary school age onwards. At that age, most children are able to handle the masks reasonably.

Higher risk of infection due to multiple use of masks?
Do masks contain harmful substances and are they problematic for asthmatics?

Don’t masks also contain harmful substances?

Some people are concerned that the masks they buy may contain harmful substances that are inhaled. In fact, you should make sure that the masks have all the necessary test marks and that the origin is documented – as is the case, for example, with the disposable face masks from Trotec.

We have had the filter quality and breathing resistance of all masks in stock tested at accredited test centres. 

Therefore, rely on our tested face masks, which more than meet the requirements with their filter performance of 96.8.

Conclusion: At least as far as surgical masks are concerned, no negative effects (such as increased cases of lung disease among doctors and hospital staff) have been observed so far, even over long periods of time.

Isn’t it problematic for asthmatics to wear a mask?

Again and again, the question is asked whether a face mask could cause problems for asthmatics. Intensive care specialists consulted on this subject firmly deny this, as long as the asthma is not based on an allergy to the mask ingredients. Asthmatics should therefore of course consider what material their mask is made of.

Conclusion: For asthma and other early chronic respiratory diseases, wearing a mask should not cause problems for most patients: they already have low oxygen pressure and therefore breathe more. If anything, this even lowers the CO2 concentration in the blood.

Do masks also help when the infected person coughs heavily?

Doubters like to point to recent experiments in the “Annals of Internal Medicine” as an argument against mandatory masks and their effectiveness. For the study conducted by scientists from Seoul, four COVID-19 patients from South Korea coughed five times each onto a petri dish placed 20 centimetres away from their faces. The first time the patients wore no mask, the second time a surgical mask, the third time a cotton mask and the fourth time again none. The result: Neither the surgical nor the cotton masks effectively filtered out SARS-CoV-2 when the infected patients coughed. But infectiologists do not consider this study to be proof of the real everyday ineffectiveness of masks. There are hardly any real situations in which one is coughed on directly, they say. According to them, masks are mainly useful for catching droplets when speaking. This makes the mask suitable for preventing infections in most important situations.

Conclusion: The general effectiveness of masks has long been proven in numerous cases, for SARS infectious diseases and for private households.

Do masks protect against all modes of transmission of the coronavirus?

According to current knowledge, the so-called droplet infection is one of the main ways of transmission in the population. A mask is considered a physical barrier, at least for droplets (> 5 µm diameter), and thus protects against the large droplets caused by “juicy” talking. 

Another way of transmission is the airborne infection via aerosols in the room air. Aerosols are tiny droplet nuclei (<= 5 µm diameter) emitted when coughing, sneezing or talking, which float in the air for a long time due to their low weight. If a person infected with the coronavirus coughs or sneezes, virus-carrying aerosols are released into the room air, even through a face mask, where they float around and remain infectious for several hours. Only respirators with particle filters filter these tiny aerosols from the air and protect against inhaling infectious particles. Face masks or homemade face coverings, however, do not offer protection against airborne particles. 

In case of a contact infection (also called smear infection), the virus is passed on by touching. Here, a mask offers only limited protection of the mouth area, but not of the eyes.

Conclusion: Protective masks with a particle filter offer the best protection against infectious droplets and aerosols. However, you should also pay attention to your eyes and avoid rubbing them with unwashed fingers.

Do masks also help when the infected person coughs heavily?

European-tested protective masks with documented filter performance > 95 %

Especially for support requests from municipalities, authorities and hospitals, Trotec has set up a consulting team answering all questions regarding the coronavirus and the safe purchase of European-tested masks. Being a Heinsberg-based company, we are familiar with the current concerns and problems in healthcare and are happy to share this expertise with you as well.

You can contact our consulting team Monday to Friday from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. by calling +49 2452 962-400. You can also contact our team by sending an E-mail to info@trotec.de.

Professional crisis management – supported by Trotec from Heinsberg

Disposable face masks

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