The main reason to buy a gas mask: clean aIr is what we quickly die without. It only takes seconds for gases and contaminants to get inside the respiratory system. This is why masks, gas masks, respirator systems, and hazardous chemicals should be reviewed in a detailed way. Hence, we created this article.
The survival gas mask is the ultimate legend. This emergency equipment is strongly related to warfare, natural and technological disasters, CBRN situations, social unrest, street riots, and overall chaos. It may be easily called a symbol of modern terror. A sort of disaster where breathing is not safe unless it’s protected. Where the air itself is a deadly poison.
Since the world is sliding the downward spiral, as some say, you definitely might need a full face NBC gas mask. Just in case. A reliable filter respirator working with the latest technologies will not cost you too much, but the feeling of safety it gives will worth every penny spent on this equipment.
But the modern-day types of Apocalypse scenario is not the only thing gas masks are for. They are perfect go-to items for a vast range of DIY and creative projects. Gas masks are necessary for painting, demolition works, and any other case where air filtering and eye protection are crucial.
You don’t want to choke on toxic fumes, chemical vapors, or harm your eyes with debris. That’s why it’s always good to have a gas mask system at hand. You need robust equipment to survive, so your survival bags full of helpful tools are a must-have.
In this article, you will get more information about gas masks in 2020. Why should you have one? How does a gas mask work? How much do these air-purifying items cost and how to choose the right gas mask system for you and your family? Read on to learn more about respirator masks, filters, and safety technologies concerned.
Why You Need a Gas Mask
Let’s start with the idea that a respiratory gas mask system is a survival tool. This sort of item is designed to save lives. While many people will usually say that a water filter is a basic lifesaver, we cannot forget that breathing is really what keeps us going. Without water, you will hopefully last for 3 to 5 days. But without oxygen, you will be gone in just a few minutes. So breathing is life. And to breathe healthily, we need clean air.
We all tend to take clean and breathable air for granted. But the reality is that it’s not. The air we breathe every single moment of our lives will not just vanish. But the trick is that breathable air does not necessarily mean it cannot be poisonous.
When we say that the air is toxic or chemically infused, it does not mean that it’s impossible to breathe. Depending on the number of dangerous particles in the air, it becomes just a question of time: how long you can keep breathing before the poison you inhale kills you. This question gets even more challenging when you realize that you must breathe to survive, but at the same time, every breath you take pushes you closer to the grave.
Not the best situation to find yourself in without a respirator. That’s when a high-quality NBC gas mask system comes into play. Because that’s what a gas mask does: it filters the air so you could breathe safely even in the harshest of conditions.
Ever wondered why law-enforcement teams, the military, firefighters, and rescue units all have gas masks as items of their uniforms? Those people are trained to perform their professional duties in the worst circumstances. And to do so, they must be appropriately equipped with the latest safety technologies to keep going even if the air is a deadly threat.
But even if you’re just a regular person, you still might consider the idea of getting yourself a reliable full-face respirator. If the nuclear attack happens, this full face respirator will ensure your survival. Continue reading the article and find out more about the best filters, respirator systems, and other items that will save you from dangerous chemicals and toxic particles in the atmosphere, unseen by the naked eye.
What Is a Gas Mask System, Anyway?
A gas mask system is an item of PPE. Technically speaking, it is personal air-filtering survival gear. It is small and portable, designed to be easily carried and kept. Its task is simple – to let a user breathe clean, i.e., filtered from toxic elements air. The range of use varies from everyday tasks to CBRN defense situations.
The concept is quite similar to water filters that we use to clean water to ensure that it’s suitable for drinking. The fundamental difference from water filters is that you can last without clean water for 3 days max, while air is needed every moment.
A Background Story
The history of gas respirators is more extended than many people might guess. The first known design of a gas mask goes back to Ancient Greece. Back then, mask respirators were only primitive variants of what we use now. Greeks used sponges for mask air filtering, and their masks bared similarities to modern surgical or medical masks.
From then on, various inventors tried to configure new types of face respirators. To name a couple, they were Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and his respirator he invented in 1785; miners used Alexander von Humboldt’s masks at the turn of the 19th century. But the first gas mask that resembled the modern type of masks belonged to Lewis Haslett, an American inventor. He designed his version of the respirator in 1847.
But the history of a gas mask was far from over. Because all those early endeavors were not perfect and did not ensure guaranteed survival. Until 1916 when a British chemist Edward Harrison constructed something that became the first practical mask ever. This invention of the grim WWI era was inspired by the first use of a chemical weapon in human history and demonstrated that a gas mask and respirator possessed real survival potential.
As time passed, technologies developed, and gas masks became more reliable, meeting extensive use. A gas mask may seem creepy. Its goggles, air hoses, and filter canisters may evoke images of a post-apocalyptic future, nuclear, biological disasters, death, and devastation. Still, the truth is, despite their sinister looks, this item of survival gear can save lives in survival situations if you have it in your bug-out bag. Read about the system behind the work of a respirator or mask, the filters in use, and more in the next chapter.
How Do Gas Mask Filters Work?
A modern-day gas mask operates using air purifying filters of three basic design types: particle filtration, chemical absorption, and chemical reaction neutralizing other chemicals. Let’s give more details on each.
The most common and most straightforward type of air-purifying is particle filtration. This concept is related to what the ancient Greeks did with sponges held to their faces to ensure safety. Particle filters prevent hazardous substances from getting into your lungs.
It’s just as simple as covering your face with a piece of clothing, trying to escape the disgusting smell. However, modern-type particle filtration face masks are a bit more elaborate: their filters are more reliable.
Such respirators provide protection from biological threats playing the role of a virus filter. But this sort of respiratory protection has its limits. Filters clog quickly, so they require regular replacement. In general, once every 24 hours of use.
Chemical hazards require a different type of protection – chemical absorption. What it does is purifies the air of chemical agents that easily pass through a particle filter. Activated charcoal is used, for that matter.
A highly porous kind of carbon, charcoal can attract substances like liquids and gases and absorb potentially hazardous vapors. But the downside is that this respirator cannot stop everything. Activated charcoal filters will catch some poisonous vapors and miss others, not any less dangerous. So the protection with this respirator is not perfect.
The third filter type provides effective protection against a specific chemical agent or another. But it is essential to know which agent you need to get protection against to prepare an appropriate counteractive chemical for your mask or a respirator.
Let’s go back to the days of WWI. To protect themselves from chlorine gas during chemical attacks, soldiers used masks with sodium thiosulfate to neutralize chlorine.
Gas Mask System Specification
Depending on the gas or acid it protects from, each chemical reaction filter is marked with a particular color. This makes the search easier for a customer.
But since these filters are too specific, they can not suit everyday needs. Because you will never know what kind of chemical hazard will be unleashed upon you, so there is almost no way to be fully prepared and have the right gas mask filter for the moment.
Another thing a customer should always remember is that the filters require regular money investment. The filters are not forever. Usually, they last for up to 24 hours of use. Every time you use a filter with your mask, you will most surely have to replace it, which might cost you about $80. Also, be aware that you will have to keep at least several of them for each mask or respirator you own.
And finally, these filters have a limited shelf life. You will need to follow their expiration date and replace the filters, even if you never used them once they expire.
However, there are filters that store for more than 20 years.
Read on, and we learn more about how to search for the best respirator or protective mask for you.
The Right Mask For You
There are two categories of gas masks, to begin with. They are mask respirators and full-face masks.
Mask respirators or air-purifying respirators are the ones that only cover your nose and mouth, leaving the rest of your face and head uncovered and unprotected. This type of unit will give you respiratory protection, but it will not protect your eyes from smoke or hazardous materials. On the other hand, this respirator provides a wider field of view for a user. So this kind of equipment has its strong and weak points.
A full-face mask respirator ensures complete protection for the entire face. Usually, the filter is positioned somewhat below the mouth area, the whole face is covered, eyes stay protected, and you can look around through the glass goggles or plastic shield. However, this safety comes with a minor disadvantage: some models don’t have enough room inside to wear prescription glasses. So consider switching to contact lenses or choose the mask respirator that will suit you best. Anyway, they are a must-have for your home safety.
Full face gas masks sort into two main categories:
Air Purifying Respirator
Air purifying mask respirator is the most affordable respirator type, with the gas mask filter screwed directly into the mask. This setting works just fine as long as you keep the seal tight. If the seal breaks, for example, if there appears a gap between your chin and the mask of a full face respirator or a breach in the mask material, the air will get through the breach ignoring the filter. And this may result in poisoning.
For this reason, it is strongly recommended that a wearer doesn’t have a beard because an abundance of facial hair may weaken the seal.
But if you are a dedicated beard wearer and a survival geek, you might want to check out the video below of how to handle your full face respirator mask without shaving your beard off.
Another important tip is to be careful while wearing a gas mask. An awkward move can break the air seal or even make a gas mask fall off.
SCBA stands for the “self-contained breathing apparatus system.” It meets professional use among firefighters and features a separate mask-filter construction. SCBA mask supplies air from a detached tank you carry around with you.
These settings provide the best protection for the seal, making SCBA the safest full face mask respirator in the market. However, this setup is too heavy and big for an average civilian. Because of its size, it’s difficult to store in small spaces. And more, belonging to professional-class protection products, SCBA masks are usually high in price.
The most reasonable choice would be to go for a full face filter respirator with a P100 rating. Just make sure you practice regularly to be able to put the gas mask on correctly and in no time.
Top Offers in 2020
To make your choice more comfortable, we have come up with a top twelve CBRN gas masks in 2020. Some of these filter masks are top-rated and high in price products. Some are more affordable. There are also a few models designed especially for child protection during NBC situations. Make sure to read through the list to make your perfect gas mask pick.
MIRA Safety CM-6M Tactical Gas Mask
Another Mira Safety model, the CM-6M gas mask, gives the wearer an even wider field of view thanks to the face shield. The CM- 6M setup also includes a hydration system and a plastic bottle to go with it. Many consumers choose this safety kit as an alternative to the previous NBC filter mask by Mira Safety.
PD-100 N9.5 filter gas mask will protect from chemicals and industrial vapors and is perfect safety equipment during NBC disasters. The material of this mask respirator is high-quality silicone. The right mask choice for the price.
Mira Safety CM7M Military Gas Mask system is configured to protect a wearer against NBC hazards. The item is made of upper-class Bromobutyl rubber. Modern technologies allowed to create this high-quality mask. CBRN full-face filter mask that can be used in the broad temperature range. CM7M mask also provides a wide viewing angle. This NBC mask features drinking tubes, a sweat drainage system, and even a built-in speech diaphragm. It also allows wearing eyeglasses. The common opinion is that with Mira Safety CM7M, you just can’t go wrong when it comes down to choosing a CBRN filter mask that will guarantee full protection.
PD-101 N9.6 CBRN filter gas mask respirator is a small step from the previous model. Similar protection-wise but with a bit different design. This full-face respirator mask will protect against airborne hazards and is the right choice for its price.
Israeli Rubber Respirator Mask NBC Protection
This mask is as affordable as it is basic in its form and construction. This NBC filter gas mask perfectly meets the needs of just a regular customer. While not the best of choices regarding price and high-end features that modern technologies may offer, this standard NBC protection mask is available at a reasonable price and will surely do what it was made for.
This gas mask offers NBC protection, features 40mm filter inputs, and a scratchproof face shield with enough room to wear eyeglasses.
SGE 1 Gas Mask/Respirator 400/3
Another high-quality emergency filter mask. This CBRN mask guarantees full-face NBC protection, and its main feature is three standard ports for changeable air filters.
DISKIN Full Face Respirator CBRN Respiratory Safety Mask
The DISKIN CBRN mask will not break the bank but is a quality CBRN protection mask that fits all adults and features a standard 40mm filter port. This CBRN filter gas mask model also has a speech membrane that many consider an important feature for modern-day gas masks.
Holulo Full Face Respirator Respiratory Gas Mask
Top 3 Gas Masks for Children
The last three NBC gas masks on the list are the masks for child protection. Unfortunately, today’s respirator mask industry hasn’t got too many CBRN masks for teenagers and children under thirteen years of age. But recently, the market saw a few newer NBC respirator systems of said categories.
CM-2M KIDS Tactical Gas Mask
CM-2M KIDS is one of the few choices among CBRN full-face respirators for kids. It will fit children and teenagers up to 15 years old. Usually, after that age, teens use adult-sized respirator masks. The tactical gas mask’s model divides into two size groups and features a speech membrane.
The KZD6 Mask seems to be the only solution available for the smallest of children who cannot wear filter mask respirators due to their age. This mask model is also suitable for protecting small pets.
This respirator system will protect the youngest family members. The hood respirator covers the entire child’s head, so there are no inconveniences usual for face masks.
If you are deeply concerned about the survival perspectives for yourself, consider getting the set of mask respirators. Since you never know when and where disaster finds you, our recommendation is to always have a mask respirator at hand. Buy yourself a few of these items with a set of spare filters.
Have one in your car, one at your house, and one at your work. Be sure you also have one in your get home bag and your bug out bag. This will not only give you the feeling of safety but will highly increase your survival chances in the case of emergency, be a tear gas attack or even a nuclear, biological hazard.
We hope this information was helpful. Below you can find answers to the most frequents questions on the topic of respirator gas masks.
How Effective is Gas Mask?
Mask respirators differ in the construction and protection level they provide. For instance, paper-filter masks will protect you from airborne particles but are completely ineffective when it comes down to NBC hazards. Filter respirators can provide protection against gases, hazardous vapors, and other harmful substances. And more, full-face respirators also will protect the wearer’s eyes. However, specialists insist that a face respirator will be useless in a widespread nuclear biological or chemical attack. But many customers will still buy CBRN gas masks because of the safe feeling they get from having them in their bags, which is understandable.
Are Gas Masks Illegal?
Buying or selling gas masks is not prohibited. But wearing them in public may be the cause of certain problems. For instance, each state in the USA has its code relating to filter masks. And the standard approach to the issue is that wearing a gas mask in public may be interpreted as an attempt to conceal the identity. Any person doing this is at risk of being deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. However, gas mask regulations vary throughout the United States and are subject to individual study. For more information on mask-wearing in the US, go to www.ready.gov website.
But there can be times when wearing a mask respirator is an obligation. For instance, during war or widespread technological disasters where public safety is a top priority. The 2020’s Coronavirus pandemic showed the importance of mask-wearing.
In the 1940s, London wearing a mask, was a part of everyday life as it was in much of Europe in the wake of WWI and the horrors of its chemical attacks.
How Much Does a Gas Mask Cost?
Price is always a choice between best and affordable. And air-purifying respirators are no exception. There are cheaper products as well as ones that are refreshingly high in price. The price of an NBC respirator mask depends not only on the overall quality or brand status but also on design, temperature range, additional features, etc. Considering the given information, one can conclude that an average customer should be ready to spend from $100 up to $400 on a personal NBC gas mask. Also, be ready to spend some extra cash for CBRN mask filters because filters may go separately.
How to Make a Gas Mask?
It is possible to manufacture a face respirator safety system using home materials like a regular medical mask, a two-liter plastic bottle, a razor blade, and duct tape. There is even a way to make a filtration system respirator mask using an extra plastic bottle, a short rubber hose, pillow stuffing, and charcoal. However, a home-made respirator mask takes too much time to make and hardly meets the NBC protection standards.
When Was the Gas Mask Invented?
The first examples of what we now call a gas mask can be found in Ancient Greece. Those days Greeks used sponges to protect the lungs. More sophisticated varieties of face respirator masks appeared centuries later in Europe and North America. The first entirely practical, almost modern-day type mask was manufactured in 1916. The respirator mask was designed by a British chemist Edward Harrison to protect soldiers during chemical attacks. Harrison’s mask, in many ways, became the prototype for modern CBRN safety systems.