What are the different levels of face masks In Australia?

 

The three levels of face masks in Australia 

Revised in December 2015 the standard AS 4381:2015 for face masks are now performance based on 3 tests:

  1. Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE)
  2. Differential Pressure (Delta P)
  3. Synthetic Blood Penetration Resistance (Fluid resistance is measured mm Hg)

Masks are rated according to performance level 1, level 2 or level 3. 

 

Level 1

Level 1 barrier medical face mask materials are evaluated for resistance to penetration by synthetic blood at the minimum velocity specified below, bacterial filtration efficiency and differential pressure. APPLICATIONS: For general purpose medical procedures, where the wearer is not at risk of blood or bodily fluid splash or to protect staff and/or the patient from droplet exposure to microorganisms (e.g. patient with upper respiratory tract infection visits GP)

Level 2

Level 2 barrier medical face mask materials are evaluated for resistance to penetration by synthetic blood at the middle velocity specified below, bacterial filtration efficiency and differential pressure. APPLICATIONS: For use in emergency departments, dentistry, changing dressings on small or healing wounds where minimal blood droplet exposure may possibly occur (e.g. endoscopy procedures)

Level 3

Level 3 barrier medical face mask materials are evaluated for resistance to penetration by synthetic blood at the maximum velocity specified below, bacterial filtration efficiency and differential pressure. APPLICATIONS: For all surgical procedures, major trauma first aid or in any area where the health care worker is at risk of blood or bodily fluid splash (e.g. orthopaedic, cardiovascular procedures)

 

Table of characteristic differences between Level 1, 2, and 3

(AS) 4381: 2015 SINGLE USE FACE MASKS

Characteristics

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3 (highest)

Test method

Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) %

≥ 95%

≥ 98%

≥ 98%

ASTM F2101-14 or EN 14683:2014

Particulate Filtration Efficiency (PFE) % (0.1 μm)

Not Required

Not Required

Not Required

N/A

Differential Pressure (Delta P) mm H2O/cm2

< 4.0

< 5.0

< 5.0

EN 14683:2014

 

Resistance to penetration by synthetic blood (fluid resistance) min pressure in mm Hg for pass result

80mm Hg

120mm Hg

160mm Hg

ASTM F1862 / F1862M-13 or ISO 22609