Gas Mask

We Love Gas Masks

Buying a gas mask is an absolute necessity if you are working in a hazardous environment where exposure to gas fumes can cause health hazards, hence you need to use a gas mask in such a scenario to protect your health. Buying a gas mask is not an easy task as there are many factors involved, hence we have comprehensively explained a step-by-step guide to choosing the right gas mask.

Gas Mask
Gas Mask

What is a Gas Mask

Before we talk more about the gas masks, let us understand the contamination from which you may need protection. In general, you should look for masks that protect you from CBRN contamination;

Selecting the Right Gas Mask

Type of Contamination You Need Protection From:

Before we talk more about the gas masks, let us understand the contamination from which you may need protection. In general, you should look for masks that protect you from CBRN contamination;


C-Chemical:

Toxic chemical agents and gases


B-Biological:

Microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi.


R-Radiological:

Radioactive particles dispersed by a bomb.


N-Nuclear:

Nuclear radiation from a nuclear weapon or reactor.

Do not assume that just a gas mask will protect you from all these listed contaminations. It is a combination of a mask and filters that can protect you from the above contaminations.


Types of Gas Mask:

Purchasing a gas mask would need you to be informed about the style of gas mask you are looking for and the level of protection.

Let us look at the style of various gas masks below;


1. Half-Face Gas Mask:

This is a cheap solution and also easy to choose but you need to be informed that this mask only covers your nose and mouth and not the rest of the face leaving your eyes exposed which could be dangerous as chemicals can damage your eyes or your eyes can be vulnerable to biological infection. Hence these masks are barely usable in grave situations as your vision is important.


2. Full Face Gas Mask:

A full gas mask covers your entire face including eyes hence the protection coverage of this type of mask is optimum.

A large filter is attached below the mouth and the mask covers your face including eyes hence you will be able to see through the glass or plastic provided in the mask.

If you are looking for a gas mask for a hazardous situation, then this type of mask is the only option you should consider hence if you are going for a full-face gas mask, the next step is for you to choose the right respirator. There are two options to choose from;


1. Air-Purifying Respirator:

These are affordable full-face gas masks that are simple to use. The filter canisters of this type of mask are replaceable and screw directly to the mask itself. You need to use your lung power to pull and push air through the filter. Maintaining a good seal is important while using this mask because if the seal breaks then the mask becomes completely ineffective as due to negative pressure, the air from the outside will start leaking into the mask through the leak, bypassing the filter and cause fatal results. Hence the seal needs to be absolutely airtight in this type of mask for your own safety.

Hence if you have facial hair or a beard, you need to shave it off as it becomes risky to use such masks due to the increased risk of leakage possibilities.

You also need to be careful of what you do when you use this mask as you do not want to accidentally break the seal while in a hazardous environment.

The bottom line is, you need to be careful while using this mask and make sure that there are no seal breaks to be safe.


2. Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus System (SCBA) Masks:

This type of mask is far more effective, but it is also heavy. You will see firefighters using these masks to breathe when a room is filled with smoke. You will need to carry a tank full of clean air strapped to your back with this mask so that constant clean air is supplied to you hence the protection level is high when you use this mask. Air is pumped from the tank to the mask at a constant rate and a positive pressure is maintained in the mask that eliminates the requirement of a perfect seal as air moves only from high pressure to low pressure hence pressurized air can only move out and air from outside will not leak in due to the pressure being low outside. This makes the mask safer as the pressurized mask makes leaks seem less dangerous.

The only disadvantage is that the SCBA system is bulky and heavy to carry around, also it is difficult to navigate with this setup in a constrained space. The tank contains fresh oxygen that lasts only 30-60 minutes and then you will need to refill the tank. As the setup is highly secure, this mask is also the most expensive hence you will have to determine the type of hazard you will be facing and how much you are willing to spend.


Guidelines to Choose a Gas Mask:

  1. Only choose masks that modern military prefers, as this ensures the quality of the mask.
  2. Always check if the masks fit you properly.
  3. Do not choose outdated masks even if you are getting them for cheap.
  4. Check for leakages as the mask needs to be airtight or else your safety will be compromised. Put on the mask, cover filter holes with your palm and inhale, if you can feel air coming in then the mask is leaking hence discard it.
  5. Check the mask from the outside for any torn fabric, scratches or cracks on the goggles.
  6. The valves also need to be checked for any cracks or tears and buy some spare valves along with the mask.
  7. It is important that the gas mask has a drinking cord fitted to it which is also airtight. You can test this by putting on the gas mask and pinching the end of the drinking cord then try to suck, if any leak, you will notice air coming in.
  8. You also need to buy a specialized drinking flask along and test it as well.
  9. Make sure that the spare filters you buy are vacuum packed.

Conclusion:

The best m40 gas mask is the one that can prevent you from any hazardous environment, hence choosing a gas mask should not be taken lightly because it is a matter of life and death. You need to thoroughly do your homework, take your time to choose the right gas mask for your requirements and test it before actually using it. Get adequate training to be sure that you are using it right as your life may depend on it.