Gas mask information.

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by survivalmonkey360, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. I know virtually nothing about gas masks.

    I’ve looked around but it seems hard to find any good info.[dunno]

    All I’ve found is mostly from online stores that sell them and they’re hardly an impartial source.

    So if any of you can tell me some things I should know or point me in the right direction for info I’d be grateful. :)

    3 things I can think of for sure are it needs to use readily available NBC filters, and not be so old that it’s rubber will fall apart.

    Also is it true that these Russian gas masks have filters that can last for 7 days? It seems kind of unrealistic to me.
  2. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    Third one's the best.

    Gas mask - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Question_book-new.svg" class="image"><img alt="Question book-new.svg" src=""@@AMEPARAM@@en/thumb/9/99/Question_book-new.svg/50px-Question_book-new.svg.png

    Also is it true that these Russian gas masks have filters that can last for 7 days? It seems kind of unrealistic to me.

    That depends on the atmosphere the mask is being used in. Most filters have an absorbent or adsorbent chemical in them suitable for the specific toxins to be filtered. Once those absorbent chemicals are full they absorb no more and let in the toxin. So if the atmosphere has a little toxin the filters last longer than if there is a lot of toxin. Hence 2 filters. you change one out when needed.

    pretty much if you don't have a way to know an NBC threat is upon you, it will be almost to late when you do find out.
  3. toemag

    toemag Monkey++

    I hate gas masks and their intended use, it means that all else has failed.

    Back in 198? when I was stationed in a northern German Town there was a chemical factory that had a leak, the local fire service sent a tender to our camp and we all paraded in the tank lager, they explained the situation and said we should remain indoors until they gave the all clear, we all had the same though, suit up and don our masks, they then started laughing and said that they were no protection against the chemicals that had been accidentally released.

    I never really got over the above incident.

  4. QuietOne

    QuietOne Monkey++

    The adsorbent in gas masks is activated charcoal, which picks up most everything. Problem is it picks up stuff in the air and stops working when it's full or gets wet so for long useful shelf life you have to keep the filters sealed. The color-coded filters have neutralizers for specific toxins along with the activated charcoal.

    Like Toemag said, for some acids gas masks don't work.
  5. IRT SLugomust:

    I already saw those pages, but thanks anyway.
    <FONT size=3><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com[​IMG]Here are some more questions I have:

    Should I get a mask with a water tube?

    Should I get a mask that covers my whole head or one that just goes on the front of my face?

    Are used masks ok, or do I need to buy a new one?

    What are the most common and or best kind of filters, I know there are NATO ones, cheek filter style ones, and all manner of other designs.
    The cheek style ones seem to have the drawback of having to remove the mask for filter changes.

    Should I get a duel filter, single filter, or one with a hose that goes down to the filter?

    I read on one site that old filters can actually become toxic, is that real or just BS to get your to buy new filters?
  6. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    I can't answer all of your questions but these 2 I can handle. ;) If you spend anytime in a gas mask you will want a drink of water. Trust me, I've spent way to many hours in one. Just make sure you have canteens with the right caps.

    #2) Many chemicals will absorb through the skin. ;) If your only worried about getting tear gased then there is no need (although tear gas does burn some peoples skin). If you want to protect yourself from any of the nastier chemicals you will need a hood and a full suit as well. [2c]

  7. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    [FONT=border=]Here are some more questions I have:[/FONT]
    <FONT size=3><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com[​IMG]Should I get a mask with a water tube? YES Mr. ozarkgoatman said it, he's a smart man listen to him. Also a carbon filled suit being good for an NBC situation also is good for hunting as it keeps your Big mac smell inside the suit so deer don't smell you.
    I have two masks, second to last generation USGI issue masks with extra filters, they have the hoods attached and water tubes, the GI issue canteens fit up to them. However If a true NBC threat is upon me I see 2 options, 1 use it for escape, hoefully luck is on my side (but I have no way to know a threat is upon my besides the radio or my pets dying), chances slim but hey ya gotta try. 2 other option is if I'm surrounded by the gov that want's to take me away for my beliefs so their tear gas won't work. Also in a real NBC threat scenario, if you can't get out of the contaminated area fast, then you'll wanna drink before you die a horrible death. Find a tube that alcohol won't degrade. (sorry lame joke, but I'm from the school that pretty much if you're stuck in a environment that is that chemically contaminated then, bend over and kiss your ass goodbye, sad truths) A garbage bag over your head will also work for escape provided the air is clean when you don it. Also remember chemical and biological agents have issues spreading, they are at the whim of the wind. ALways head up wind from the threat. They also need ideal conditions to be effective. A lot of chemical agents are heavier than air so stay high.

    Should I get a mask that covers my whole head or one that just goes on the front of my face?
    Yes whole headis best but face will work, look at military surplus, rememeber USarmy has best equipment thatthe lowest bidder could supply.
    Are used masks ok, or do I need to buy a new one? Yes, just make sure rubber isn't cracked or degraded, that it fits properly and buy extra/new filters. new is always better but used is ok provided you can inspect it before you lay down the benjamins.

    What are the most common and or best kind of filters, I know there are NATO ones, cheek filter style ones, and all manner of other designs.
    The cheek style ones seem to have the drawback of having to remove the mask for filter changes.

    Not sureof actual filter types but I'm sure it's on the web somewhere. Military issue would be best. From my days on a hazmat team IIRC there isn't a catch all filter for chemicals but there is one for biological agents. There are masks with outside canisters, israeli and russians. If you practice though you may be able to change the cheek filters while holding your breath and eyes and nose closed. lol

    Should I get a duel filter, single filter, or one with a hose that goes down to the filter? Definately dual filter, since you need one good filter while you change out the bad filter.

    I read on one site that old filters can actually become toxic, is that real or just BS to get your to buy new filters? If the filter is "full" of bad chemicals then yes I can see how that would be true, since it would start to emit the chemical it's holding. I don't see how just being OLD makes it toxic though although being old makes it worthless also.

    These are my opinions and from my experiences. Don't substitute this for your own hard reaserch. Information on this topc is readily available. the info out there won't be misleading. Look for Hazmat/ first responder sites.
  8. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Get an external filter one,I've got a couple of older m17's( the viet nam era kind of masks with cheek pouch filters,drinkingtubes and hoods. I got them mostly for a dust/fallout mask purposes, I don't think I d trust em in a true hardcore NBC environment. Changing the cheek filters is a royal challenge (pita)( needing hemostats/needle nose pliers to rebutton all the little rubber flaps inside.)the newer Air force "mcpu-2"(?)(one window,external spin on filter) is much better and alot newer.
  9. Thanks for the input guys. :)

    I just thought of a couple more things.

    Now as far as a single filter one, couldn’t you just hold your breath while you replace the filter?

    Will a double filter mask give you any more time between filter changes since each filter has half as much air\contaminants go through it?
    <FONT size=3><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com[​IMG]Are the filters very heavy? Would a double filter mask encumber movement too much?
  10. QuietOne

    QuietOne Monkey++

    Some answers:
    The US military uses chemical alert papers, which change color when exposed to certain toxins. Extra production occasionally available as surplus.
    Masks that cover your entire head won't fit over long hair. Also very hot.
    Pull out your drinking tube, take a drink... now what? The tube is contaminated.
    Remember KISS? Replacing a filter should be quick, simple, and easy to do after you've spent a day in hell (which is what things will be like after a gas attack). Read the manual to show you how to replace the filter in a contaminated environment. And hope you never have to do it.
    Whatever mask you get check to see if it fogs up when in use. If it does put a light coating of silicone on the inside of the lenses.
  11. Akheloce

    Akheloce Monkey++

    All good points here so far, just a few more things.... I use the mcpu-2 mask. I keep the one filter on the left hand side, so that I can shoot right handed. I have the hood, drinking tube, as well as a "j-list" full suit (it doesn't use charcoal, something else). The military rates the entire setup for 24 hours. The main thing on your side is time. After a couple hours, the liquid threat is essentially nill for blister agents, and just a little longer for vapor blister and nerve agents.

    As far as changing filters, the military never trains for that, since it is believed that the threat will not linger that long to be necessary. Also, the filters do not become toxic, as we use outdated filters for training. They do however have a shelf life. The filters are not heavy at all, perhaps a few ounces.

    I whole heartedly recommend some m-8 and m-9 detection paper, as it will tell you what you are up against, and the dwell times.

    I also recommend spending a few hours in your gear at least once while performing normal tasks to give you an idea of what your limitations are going to be.
  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Israeli masks are generally fine, I use them and they work great and have drinking tube capabilities. I personally do not trust the US Mil spec masks, after using them and realizing that the tiny filter disc is more of a placebo than anything else ( I actually have them with the same style filter as the Israeli masks) -but I am no expert by far on NBC equipment. As mentioned before, the whole idea of being caught in an actual bio contaminated environment is a screwed position no matter your gearload...the best way to survive is to get out and get clear as fast as possible, or stay in a protected area (underground). The spread and outbreak of bio weaponry is, for the most part a temporary effect. It is only the most drastic scenario involving viruses and other pathogens that we begin to see the terrible possibilities. Idealistically, a full MOPP setup will provide the best known protection, but practicing actually putting it on (dawning the gear) is most important of all. Regardless of all this, I don't think that there is even a "good" chance of surviving if you actually DO need this much equipment. The tear gas and other similar encounters are worth preparing for no matter what, though.

    Those are just some of my opinions, mind you. I am something of a realist when it comes to bio warfare, and do not pretend as though there is an end-all-be-all cure for any situation. Complacency kills, folks.
  13. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I would recommend that you stick with mil spec masks. The M-17 is fine for a single use mask, but as someone else said, the masks are impossible to change out in a toxic environment. The other downfall of the M-17 is that it is made completely of butyl rubber which is irritating to skin, especially if you start getting the five o'clock shadow. I would stick with the AF MCU-2, or if you expect the possibility of heavy work, the Army M-40 series. The M-40 and MCU-2 have silicon rubber which is less irritating to human skin. The extra benefit of the M-40 is that it has a butyl rubber cover to keep it from getting cut as easily as the MCU. You always want a hood for your masks as most chemicals have the ability to absorb and it also makes decon easier.
    If you are planning on military grade chemicals, then you need to get a MOPP or JSLIST suit.
    As for the foreign masks, stay away from them. The Russian crap is just that. Their QC is poor and who wants to trust their life on poor QC. The filters for these masks are even worse. Israeli would be acceptable, but remember that supply is in a questionable thing when times get bad.
    The filters of all mask have service life based on the chemicals they encounter. Blood agents will tear a filter down very quickly, but dissipate quickly as well. The old Cold War theory was that the Russians would saturate with blood agents and then follow with persistent agents because they knew the weakness of the M-17 mask.
    Military filters were designed to protect against complex organophosphate molecules. Because of this, most military filters are not capable of protecting against common industrial chemicals like ammonia and chlorine.
    With all that said, what is it that you are planning to protect against? Military grade chemicals or civilian based chemical spills? If it is the later, then you might want to look into a civilian mask. MSA makes the best masks for the money.
    As I mentioned decon earlier, if you are buying masks without planning on decon, you are just wasting money. What good is it to survive the chemical contamination, only to kill yourself when it comes time to take the stuff off??
    I guess my days as a Chemical Decon Specialist have finally come to some good!! Hope that helps.
  14. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Exactly. Yup, you know your stuff, and I am thankful!
  15. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I believe they are NATO standard, that's a plus. Once again, I wouldn't trust my life with something that doesn't have our control standards. For the price he is selling them for, you can get a decent M-40 on eBay. As for the filters being better, they are, the take the gas in, convert it's molecular structure and you fart potpourrie, what a load of crappola.
  16. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Just for the safety of it all, we purchassed 12 czech masks, very similar to the M-17's I used in the 70's. They worked great for cs/cn irritants, so that's what I bought them for...Seeing as how we cannot get the atropine injectors, or replace them when needed anyway! I also got the older stlye rubberized ponchos to go along with them. I showed the group how to change out the filters, and why they should have 1 ALWAYS ready and 1 opened and ready to put new filters in. QUICKLY!
    They are a real bear! You can't even do this in less than say: 5-7 minutes per each mask!
    Those danged filters always get turned around, and then I swore the next ones I got would be the screw on filter types!
    We also got 2 chemical mopp suits, (not enough $$$ for 6 people's suits).
    Researching a lot of decontamination agents led me to: 1) a diluted bleach solution that can be easily mixed (12-1: water to 5% sodium hypochlorite-unscented bleach), and used in a pump style garden sprayer unit, and a second that referred to a solution to follow the bleach spray, made of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)?
    Not sure about those to this very day however!
    I'd love more info. on this subject myself!
    (ps) I did whatever they call it now: cbn/nbc/cbr training and had to clean, maintain, and exchange the atropine injectors for my company, in Hanau, Germany GMBH (1969-70))
    BTW...those danged injectors hurt when you mess around and end up putting a needle thru your thumbnail!
    (Hey I was 17!) What did I know???
  17. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    Yes sodium bicarboante is baking soda.
  18. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I was wondering what the baking soda did to the "agent/s"...?
    I have to assume that the bleach being a disinfectant, has some effects to destroy/kill off any living biological agents, I don't see it affecting such things as VX or GB agents though. Outside of trying to live in a plastic bag, with a series of filtration could/would be HARD in such an EVENT.
  19. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    probably something to do with acid/base reaction. since bicarb is a base.
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