The Palas GmbH, located in Karlsruhe, has more than 35 years of experience in the generation and measurement of aerosols as well as in the testing of filters. We performed the test for WISO with our high-precision protective mask tester PMFT 1000 M . The German Federal Government reacted already in spring and bought some of these test benches and shipped them to China in order to be able to check the quality of masks on site before they are exported to Germany.
Since the beginning of this year we also offer manufacturers, importers or dealers of protective masks to carry out measurements for quality assurance and product improvement in our company . Numerous test institutes, authorities and manufacturers of masks have already purchased our test systems.
As far as the results of the tests for the WISO editorial office are concerned, we are unfortunately unable to provide information about the manufacturer and origin of the masks. We have received these from the editorial department in anonymized form and are not allowed to give any further information to the outside world for reasons of data protection.
However, as mentioned in the article, there are some things you should consider when buying FFP2 masks. Therefore we would like to urgently advise you:
- Prefer the purchase of protective masks from German manufacturers. They take quality assurance very seriously and deliver good quality.
- Make sure that an FFP2 mask is fully and correctly CE-marked.
- To check that the marking is not a fake, you can enter the CE number on this page of the EU Commission and have the test confirmed by the testing institute mentioned above.
Since offering mask tests as a service, we have performed well over a thousand measurements. Unfortunately, our test results are the same as those for the WISO editorial office. Many FFP2 masks are qualitatively insufficient and there are isolated masks with extremely poor quality.
An additional problem of FFP2 masks are the small particle sizes of the exhaled aerosols. These are smaller than the relevant particle size when tested according to the standard. The protection of FFP2 masks against directly exhaled virus particles is therefore even worse than the measurement according to standard. FFP2 masks are actually designed for coarser dust particles and not for the smallest aerosols. Small virus particles penetrate the masks much more easily, with a penetration of far more than 6%. Unfortunately, we are therefore not at all surprised that so many healthcare workers have become infected despite the use of FFP2 masks.
In health care, for intensive medical care of sick persons, we therefore recommend the use of full protective masks according to EN143.
Here you can find the TV report: https://www.zdf.de/verbraucher/wiso/minderwertige-ffp2-masken-auf-dem-markt-100.html