Breathing-protective-facemask protocol

Last modified by Iris Spruit on 2021/12/10 10:12

Breathing-protective-facemasks (FFP mask) protocol


In order to prevent participant or researcher infection, the researcher wears personal protection.


There are multiple types of protective facemasks: the surgical facemask (IRR) and the breathing- protective-facemasks (FFP).

Only special FFP masks provide enough protection against particles such as microorganisms, which can be transmitted through drops or drop cores. The mask is worn over nose and mouth and filters inhaled air. There are three types of FFP masks: FFP1, FFP2, FFP3. They differ in their capacity to filter inhaled air from possible microorganisms. FSW requires the use of FFP2 masks for human-related research.


The surgical facemask has to be provided with:

  • A CE 89/686/EEG rating;
  • A NEN-EN 14683 rating, type IRR;
    • The R indicates that this mask prevents moisture infiltration;
  • Do not use facemasks with an exhalation valve. Spatters can enter through this valve.

When to use the facemask

  • If it is written in the protocol;
  • If the transmission of microorganisms via drop cores is probable: use a FFP2 facemask specifically.


  • Masks can only be used once and by one person only. It is forbidden to use the mask after having it hung around the neck;
  • Replace the mask after wearing it for 2 hours;
  • If the mask becomes moist or filthy, replace it immediately. Explanation: if the mask becomes moist, its filter properties are decreased and the mask will not offer as much protection as before;
  • Remove the mask after usage and do not touch the front of the mask;
  • After use, discard the mask by throwing it in the normal bin. Do not reuse;
  • Disinfect your hands immediately after discarding the mask.


  • FFP masks are used to protect the researcher;
    • Having a beard or a moustache can obstruct proper fitting of the facemask;
    • Having a clean-shaven face ensures that the mask fits and works properly.

Applying the facemask

  1. Unfold the facemask;
  2. Bend the noseband in the middle;
  3. Stretch the elastics for about 10 seconds;
  4. Place your chin inside the mask;
  5. Pull the elastics over your head;
  6. The lower elastic string needs to go under the ears. Apply the upper string onto the crown of your head;
  7. Check if the mask fits well by making sure it is pressed against the skin;
  8. Fold your hands over the mask and breathe heavily. If air escapes, reshape the noseband. If air escapes specifically at the edges of the mask, you can adjust the elastic straps.













Taking off the facemask

  1. Remove the mask by bending forward;
  2. Lift the lower elastic strap over your head, followed by the upper strap;
  3. Avoid touching the in- and outside of the mask after using it;
  4. Dispose the mask in the bin;
  5. Disinfect your hands.







  • LUMC - Persoonlijke beschermingsmiddelen (BPPC-protocol), versie: 15 januari 2020
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