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The Mask requirement for the whole of Germany come from? This question is currently discussed in politics and the Public. The science Academy Leopoldina, for example, recommends a mask mandatory in Bus and train. Countries such as Austria or German cities such as Jena, Germany, have already introduced a requirement to Wear a protective mask or face covering. Even now people wear a mask in many places in this country, a protection, for example, when shopping.

But the mask is not mask is the same. There are the FFP2 and FFP3 masks, the mouth-nose protection and so-called “Community-masks” or DIY masks, so even-sewn masks or makeshift masks. And each of these masks has other protective properties.

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Three different types of protective masks

The Federal Institute for drugs and medical devices (BfArM) a distinction is made Essentially between three types of masks: the “Community-masks”, the mouth-nose protection, and a “filtration masks half”.


These masks are provided according to the BfArM for private use only, because they are not licensed as a medical product. The “Community-masks” would not have to go through the standard requirements or not a detection method. “You may not marketed as medical devices or items of personal protective equipment on the market and do not have benefits or protection effects to be launched,” – said the Institute.

Self-stitched mouth protection masks

Also could not rely on a carrier of the self-sewn masks the fact that these are able to protect yourself or other people prior to a Transmission of the Coronavirus. For these masks, no protective effect has been demonstrated. Nevertheless, “Despite these limitations, appropriate masks as clothing can help to reduce the speed of the breath stream, or droplet discharge, for example when coughing and awareness of ‘social distancing’ and health-related care and support others,” writes the BfArM on its website. As a contribution to the reduction of the further spread of Sars-CoV-2 could be made.

Distance nose-to-cover hold and hygiene measures are still the best protection, even with oral. Also important is the correct handling of the DIY masks is. This includes the regular Washing at high temperatures, or the in-depth hands were washed after Removing the protective mask.

An employee with protective clothing and mouth-nose protection


The second kind of mask are the so-called mouth-nose protectors, abbreviated as MNS called. She is better known as a SURGICAL mask, since it is carried out, especially in operating rooms. Such masks are tested according to the BfArM and the certified. This kind of Mouth guard serves to protect others from a droplet infection, for example in the treatment of open wounds. The carrier itself you are not Sagittarius but before infection by droplets or aerosols. “You can, however, protect the mouth and Nose of the wearer against a direct impact of larger droplets of the Opposite, and pathogen transmission by direct contact with the hands.”

According to the Institute for Osh of the German social accident insurance (DGUV) are suitable for such surgical masks, especially for medical and nursing staff. Also, for private use, you could be suitable, “if you believe in yourself, to spread pathogens”. For the self-protection hygiene measures and a distance of 1.50 meters would be enough to other people. In addition, these masks are disposable products, which would have to be thrown away after Wearing.

A man with a FFP mask

Filtering Half-Masks:

The last category of protective masks, the “filtering are well-known half-masks”, also under the name of FFP2 and FFP3. The tested and certified masks serve primarily to protect the wearer from a contagion. The masks are differently designed and have a valve. There are respirators with and without exhalation valve. “Masks without valve, both the breathing filter air as well as exhaled air and, therefore, provide both a self-protection as a third protection. Masks with valve only filter the inhaled air and are not designed, therefore, for foreign protection,” according to the BfArM.

According to the DGUV masks without valve, especially for medical and nursing personnel and for rescue and emergency forces who want to protect themselves against the Transmission of viruses or bacteria. With an exhalation valve be suitable for all non-medical operations, for protection against dusts and aerosols with viruses and bacteria. In the private sector, the hygiene measures were sufficient.

The advantage of this respiratory protection masks: When used properly, they can filter according to DGUV “at least 78% of the air-borne particles and/or viruses, and bacteria from the breathing air of the Person wearing” out. Also, you could be several hours, or re-used worn.

RKI: Medical masks for health staff

Even if the mouth-nose protection and especially FFP-masks provide a higher level of protection than self-made masks, the Robert-Koch-Institute (RKI) emphasises that these masks should be reserved for employees in the nursing and health care, as the protection of the technical staff of the “whole of society had great interest”.

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According to the RKI, the mouth-nose-covering in public life can help to slow the spread of Covid-19, and to protect groups at risk, which is why the Institute recommends the Wearing of such masks, “in certain situations in public space”. And also at the German society for hospital hygiene (DGKH) is expressed for ease of mouth-nose protectors for. Who will cough and a Mouth guard to wear, “secures the largest part of the droplets, which remain in the cloth or fabric hanging,” said Peter Walger, speaker of the management Board of the DGKH, in the beginning of April, the “New osnabrück newspaper”. Even a scarf to protect against the droplets. Only a small part of it would find through the pores, and only in very close proximity to the Coughing.

Sources: Federal Institute for drugs and medical devices (BfArM), Institute for Osh of the German social accident insurance (DGUV), Robert-Koch-Institute, news Agency AFP

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