EN Standards & Approvals

In the European Union, the use of filtering respiratory protection devices for the protection of your health is regulated by the EC Treaty of June 17, 1987. The minimum requirement for the protection of employees' health must be implemented in national legislation of all EC Member States based on the EC Treaty.  In addition to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, there are other EC Framework Directives such as 89/655/EEC on the use of work materials or 89/656/EEC and 89/686/EEC covering the requirements for personal protection equipment which have been implemented including laws or ordinances derived from them.

The EN 529 Standard

In compiling EN 529, Technical Committee CEN/TC 79 has created a document which provides employers/users who are required to deal with respiratory protective devices with the information they need to be able to establish and implement an efficient system for respiratory protection management. The standard acts as a guideline document for practical use and contains the basic principles for the selection, use, care, and maintenance of respiratory protective devices. The standard serves as an aid when compiling regulations resulting from national legislation. 

This standard represents another step toward the harmonisation of occupational safety and health in Europe and is a successful work which will also have an effect on international standardisation (ISO).

Individual Product Standards

This page provides you with an overview of the most important European filtering respiratory protection standards. All EN standards were drafted and issued by the European Committee for Standardisation (C. E. N.).

  • EN 136: This standard sets the minimum requirements for full face masks. Requirements include temperature stability, impermeability, concentration of carbon monoxide, breathing resistance, speech diaphragms, field of vision.
  • EN 140: Standard providing the minimum requirements for half and quarter masks: This includes inward leakage testing, breathing resistance, flammability, and the mechanical tightness of valves and connections.
  • EN 14387 (originally EN 141 and EN 371): Standard providing the minimum requirements for gas and combination filters: This primarily covers the classification of filters into various types (e.g. A, B, E, and K) as well as categories (e.g. filter classes 1, 2 and 3)
    • Type A: Used to protect against organic gases and vapors with a boiling point of > 65 °C
    • Type AX Used to protect against organic gases and vapors with a boiling point < 65 °C, as specified by the manufacturer
    • Type B: Used to protect against inorganic gases and vapors
    • Type E: Used to protect against sulfur dioxide and other acid gases and vapors
    • Type K: Used to protect against ammonia and organic ammonia derivatives
    • Type SX: Used to protect against specially named gases and vapors, as specified by the manufacturer
    • Type Hg-P3: Used to protect against mercury vapors and particles
    • Type CO: Used to protect against carbon monoxide
    • Type NO-P3: Used to protect against nitrate monoxide, nitro gases and vapors and particles
    • Class 1: Filters with a low capacity (max. 1000 ppm)
    • Class 2: Filters with a medium capacity (max. 5000 ppm)
    • Class 3: Filters with a high capacity (max. 10000 ppm)
  • EN 143: Standard providing the minimum requirements for particle filters. As is the case with gas filters, particle filters are also subdivided into classes based on their level of performance:
    • P1 filter: Low filter performance (80% efficiency)
    • P2 filter: Medium filter performance (94% efficiency)
    • P3 filter: High filter performance (99.97% efficiency)
  • EN 149 Standard providing the minimum requirements for filtering facepieces for protection against particles. Masks are also subdivided into three classes:
    • FFP 1*: Low filter performance (80% efficiency)
    • FFP 2*: Medium filter performance (94% efficiency)
    • FFP 3*: High filter performance (99.97% efficiency)
  • EN 12941 Standard for power-assisted filter systems with helmet or hood. A power-assisted filter system with helmet or hood is classified as follows: TH1, TH2 and TH3.
  • EN 12942 Standard power-assisted full face masks, half masks or quarter masks.
  • A power-assisted filter system with a full, half, or quarter mask can have one of these classifications: TM1, TM2, and TM3.

* FFP: filtering facepieces

In addition to a detailed consideration of several standards such as the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances, accident prevention regulations based on the Social Security Code and the Occupational and Safety Law, we would also like to inform you about what laws and directives regulate the use of respiratory protection devices outside of Europe.

For example, in the US where safety regulations are laid out and enforced by NIOSH and OSHA.


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