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Social Enterprise PPE Store - Best Products, Best Prices

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We're all having to think about Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and what the best products are to protect ourselves and our stakeholders.

It can be a daunting task with considerations such as:


  • ensuring that hand sanitiser liquids are effective with the correct levels of alcohol

  • the best protective masks for your operating environment - medical or respirator

  • deciding on the best surface protectors - bactericide or virucide sprays

  • Choosing latex, nitrile or vinyl protective gloves


Where to start, what to select, whom to buy from? 
This guide provides you with an introduction to the various PPE available, the selection criteria for the different operating environments, what to know before you buy, etc. etc.

Protective Masks

There are two main European Standard certificated masks on the market, both have three versions with differing levels of protection (I've graded them Good, Better, Best). US and Chinese Standard masks, equivalent to the European Standard ones, are also available (they just have a different model number - see below).

1. European Standard EN 14683 (often referred to as IIR/2R masks): 














The distinguishing feature of masks produced to this standard is that they offer two-way protection and therefore commonly used in environments where there is a risk of toxic or infectious particles being transferred to or from the wearer. 
Produced in 3 and 4 ply for single use, they are designed to prevent large particles (e.g. spit, mucous) being transferred to the wearer from people and physical objects in the vicinity, and vice-versa. However, depending on the circumstances, it does not protect from inhaling the very small particles suspended in the air that potentially carry the coronavirus. 
There are three models of this mask, each offering a different level of protection: 
Type I: bacteria filtering effectiveness > 95%. (Good)

Type II: bacteria filtering effectiveness > 98%. (Better)

Type IIR/2R: bacteria filtering effectiveness > 98% and splash resistant (Best) 
Your choice of mask category will depend on the settings in which they are being used. For example, where exposure to blood and/or bodily fluids from person(s) or work environment the mask wearer is interacting with is a risk, Type IIR mask will be applicable. 
2. European Standard EN 149:2001+A1:2009* (often referred to as FFP/N95/KN95 masks):

The distinguishing feature of masks produced to this standard is that they offer single-way protection to the wearer and therefore commonly used in environments where there is a risk of toxic or infectious particles being transferred to the wearer from people and physical objects they are working in the vicinity of, but less risk of transference from the wearer. 

Often referred to as FFP masks (Filtering Facepiece Particles) and are used in both healthcare and other industry settings (chemicals, construction, agriculture, etc), these 2 and 3 ply masks are designed as respirators to protect the wearer against the inhalation of both droplets and particles suspended in the air, specifically solids, water-based aerosols, and oil-based aerosols. Certain models can have exhaling valves fitted. They do not offer protection to persons or physical objects in the vicinity. 
Because of the mask’s tightness on the face, there can be implications for wearer wellbeing in situations of prolonged use. Therefore, risk assessments should be carried out on potential users, taking into account existing conditions such as asthma, COPD, etc. 
There are three models of this mask, each offering a different level of protection:   
FFP1 masks which filter at least 80% of aerosols (inward leakage < 22%) (Good)

FFP2 masks which filter at least 94% of aerosols (inward leakage < 8%) (Better)

FFP3 masks which filter at least 99% of aerosols (inward leakage < 2%) (Best)    


NB. The FFP2 mask has a US standard certificated equivalent called N95 and Chinese standard certificated equivalent called KN95. 
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends FFP2 or FFP3 masks during outbreaks of infections such as SARS, Avian Flu and Coronavirus. 
Certain models of this mask can be reused, and this will be indicated in the certification and/or packaging. On 1 August 1, 2010, an amendment to EN 149.2001 standard entered into force concerning the reusability of masks’ dust filters, indicated by “R”, reusable, and “NR”, non-reusable, and tagged as EN 149:2001+A1:2009.   
Your choice of mask category will depend on the settings in which they are being used. For example, an FFP3 respirator mask would filter out at least 98% of the airborne respirable particles, whereas an FFP1 respirator mask would filter out at least 80% of the respirable particles. FFP3 respirator masks are, therefore, the most efficient in filtering out fine particles including viruses, mould spores, and asbestos.   

Whatever mask you decide you need, make sure your supplier provides the appropriate European/US/Chinese Standard conformity certificate and packaging stating all the relevant details including the Standard, model number and CE stamp (complies with EU safety).


Also, be aware masks can be packaged as non-sterile, meaning they are not individually wrapped within the carton.  


The information provided in this guide is done so for awareness only and should not be taken as medical advice.

A summary table of this information is provided below. If you would like to discuss your requirements, please call or email Bill McGowan on 07770 926895,

IIR mask image.png
KN95-respirator mask.jpg
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There is no substitute for washing your hands thoroughly in soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds, making sure to access the areas between your fingers. 

However, if you cannot wash your hands, alcohol hand sanitiser is the next best thing and will help eliminate any infectious particles. The key though is that the sanitiser must have an alcohol content of at least 60% (as stated by the World Health Organisation and the NHS), preferably at least 70%. 

Do not confuse anti-bacterial handwashes for hand sanitiser. They do not contain alcohol and therefore less effective.


Touch-free dispensers - where the unit has a sensor to recognise a request for sanitiser and dispenses a measured amount - are more expensive but a good choice for avoiding physical contact and cross-infection. 


Be aware, though, that these units require regular attention to ensure they operate effectively. Using the wrong consistency of sanitiser can lead to the unit dripping if the sanitiser is more liquid, or clogging up if it's gel-like.

Some can also dispense unnecessarily because the sensor is set off by light reflection or insects. 


Touch dispensers - where the unit has a mechanical element to push for receipt of a measured amount of sanitiser - are good too, less expensive but often criticised for having the potential for cross-infection through touching of the push panel by numerous individuals. That should be offset, though, by each person subsequently receiving the sanitiser. Touch dispensers should also receive frequent attention to avoid dripping, over dispensing and clogging. 


Whatever dispenser format you go with, chose a sanitiser that is suitable for dispensing, clean out the units regularly (flush through with warm water) and empty them/switch off if not in use for prolonged periods.


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There are three distinct types of protective gloves:

Latex Gloves

Latex gloves are natural material, made out of rubber.  They are a popular choice of protective glove for medical or industrial use. Benefits include

  • Close-fitting

  • High level of touch sensitivity

  • Good for wearing for an extended amount of time

  • Work well for high-risk situations involving infectious material

  • Cost-effective

  • Lightly powdered, making them easier to put on

  • Elastic and strong

  • Biodegradable


Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves are made out of synthetic rubber and have superior puncture resistance than latex gloves. They are also an ideal alternative when latex allergies are of concern. 

  • Close-fitting

  • High puncture-resistance

  • Latex-free

  • Have a high level of sensitivity

  • Good for wearing an extended amount of time

  • Work well for high-risk situations involving infectious material

  • Resist many chemicals

  • Have a long shelf life


Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl gloves are a popular choice for the food industry and situations where high levels of durability and protection are less of a priority.  While they may be less durable, they are the less expensive option.

  • Latex-free

  • Have a looser fit

  • Are good for short-term, low-risk tasks

  • Are the most economic option

  • Have anti-static properties

  • Are best for use with non-hazardous materials

  • Are lightly powdered to make it easier to put on

NB. In most working environments, particularly medical and social care, as well as food and drink, powder-free gloves are required. This is to ensure that no contamination or allergic reaction is caused by gloves that contain a powder coating (usually corn flour ) to make them easier to put on and more comfortable to wear.

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Do you need certified PPE at competitive prices?  

(Stock and price list)

As a social enterprise health and wellbeing business using large volumes of PPE in our core work,  we have developed excellent experience in sourcing and supplying high quality, competitively priced hand sanitiser, protective masks, etc.


We have full references available from Councils, care organisations, education establishments, private companies, and we're real people right here in the UK, helping organisations avoid the pitfalls of buying the wrong products from unknown sources that may never deliver.


No VAT (we are a social enterprise business)

UK delivery within 24 hours.
Payment by BACS or credit card via PayPal (3% fee). Normally 50% deposit and 50% on delivery or full payment in advance - for your added security, we can supply references for care and education organisations we are already supplying.


Contact us on, tel 07770 926895, or use our contact form

We are a UK social enterprise health and wellbeing business (Fun and Fit Bike CIC - company reg no SC622338).



The British Medical Association (BMA) has called for the use of FFP3 respirator masks in high-risk settings, to protect primary and secondary healthcare workers from the increasing risk of Covid infection. 


The association is concerned that existing PPE masks are not providing adequate protection. 


This may have relevance too for care and education service providers operating in high-risk environments/situations. Accordingly, we have produced a handy single information document containing the BMA press release, a guide to IIR and FFP masks, and details of the FFP3 models we source and supply for our charity, third sector, Local Authority and private sector customers. 


You can read and download the document here 

If you are looking to increase protection for colleagues operating in high-risk environments - particularly in the light of the continuing onslaught of the virus and its more infectious strains - FFP3 masks are definitely worth considering. 


For further information, including pricing and availability, please get in touch.  

BMA calls for urgent review of PPE guidance as provision still ‘inadequate’ and heath care workers at ‘serious risk’

by BMA media office

Press release from the BMA. 

 Location: England


 Published: Wednesday 13 January 2021


The BMA is calling on Public Health England to urgently review the adequacy of its PPE guidance for healthcare staff amid growing concerns that inadequate PPE is placing many at serious risk of Covid-19.

In a letter to PHE1, the doctors' union highlight the need for wider use of respiratory protective equipment, such as FFP3 respirators, in other high-risk settings across primary and secondary care.

Warning of the “significant and growing concerns about the role of aerosol transmission of COVID-19 in healthcare settings” at a time when the NHS is facing unprecedented pressure, BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul writes: “Now that we have been assured that supply is no longer an issue, we believe guidance should be updated to take a more precautionary approach to better protect those working on the frontline.”

Dr Nagpaul also warns that ensuring the appropriate level of protection is especially important to minimise the risk for staff who have a higher vulnerability to COVID-19 as he writes: “If healthcare workers fall ill from being infected and are unable to work, it will be devastating for the health service at this time of critical pressures, and it will compound the pressures besieging hospitals and GP practices.”

In addition, the BMA has also written to the Department of Health and Social Care2 urging that PPE provision must be adequate to meet the ‘diverse needs’ of the healthcare workforce.

Highlighting one of the issues raised by BMA members on the unsuitability of current PPE provision, Dr Nagpaul writes: “Female doctors are still struggling to find masks that fit, often failing the ‘fit test’ or being left with sores and ulcers after long shifts when wearing masks that did not fit. We have raised concerns in the past that PPE is designed to fit men, not women - despite the fact that 75% of the NHS workforce are women.”

Warning that the current ‘one-size-fits-all’ is ‘not appropriate’, Dr Nagpaul writes: “Guidance and provision must take account of differing needs of the individual healthcare worker - no matter who you are, you should have proper-fitting PPE, regardless of gender, ethnicity and religion.”

The BMA is asking that both issues be addressed as a matter of urgency.

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