Gear Review Gas Masks and Respirators - 50pg Comprehensive Review ....

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Illini Warrior, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Illini Warrior

    probably one of the best analysis reports I've seen on the various gas masks and respirators available on the market - detail info on the various types - recommended brands - filter types and their particular uses ....

    best part of the report is that it covers the various SHTF possibilities - it's civilian family oriented - decent price comparison included ...

    Best Gas Mask for Sale and Emergency Respirators - The Prepared
  2. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    A critical item in every preppers bag!!
    The_Prepared likes this.
  3. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    As a child I remember the survivors of WW1 who had been gassed. A man who worked for my uncle had lived thru a mustard gas attack. Had ran for his life and got to higher ground and lived while almost everyone he was with died. This happened in 1918 and in 1948 he still had spots on his legs that hadn't healed and to say that he had PTSD as we call it now would be very polite. The guard unit was an ambulance unit and used to go up to the vet hospital in Minnesota a couple times a year and take a couple of vets from our town to ball games, family reunions, etc. They had been gassed in 1918 and were still in the hospital in 1948. They had had the masks that existed then or had got them on to late or something. Not quite sure what happened, but their lungs were so damaged that they were barely surviving.
    I have known many people who have died from either COPD or emphysema or lung cancer ,etc, and in most of the cases it was due to years of either smoking or working in areas where they should of been using masks but at the time no one did.
    My take on masks based on my life time of being around them is that although they help in almost all cases, only the proper mask will actually protect your lungs and that a mask only protects your lungs. If you are using an inappropriate mask for the situation, you may die with it on. There are times, CO, low oxygen levels, etc, when only a Scott air pack or something similar that supplies you with air will keep you alive and almost all fire departments have learned that the hard way. The particle restricting masks, N90, etc that cover you face, will stop dust, some bacteria and radioactive dust particles, they will do nothing to stop any poison gas, chlorine, ones caused by burning materials, plastics in particular, etc, and may give a false sense of security as you can still suffer ill effects on the rest of your body or contaminate yourself after removing the mask. Wearing the best mask in the world and touching your eyes before sanitizing your hands, etc, might well give you God knows what. Wearing a N100, a lot of cleaning, isolation, and washing, may keep you alive.
    Masks are one of the things in prepping that may save your life, the right ones that really work and are appropriate for the situation are expensive, are in very short supply, and will not be available for you to pick up after TSHTF. and to be effective must be part of a system, the upper limit being the ones the CDC uses with the full body suits and chemical decontamination , and the lower limit being a pair of coveralls, a dust mask, and a shower. Our limited experience in the US with the last round of Ebola and our aid in Africa with the disease, would indicate that even those who thought they knew what was happening were ill prepared. These comments are not being made in the proper context of random musings of what may happen at some future time in the US. In our small town of about 6,000, we have had 2 healthy people in their 30's die of the flu in the last 2 weeks, my wife was over to see her eye Dr at the regional clinic a few days ago and we were in the "urgent care facility" where he has his office, wearing N90 masks, carrying hand sanitizer with us, and called the Dr on our cell phone and stayed in our car until he was ready to see us, so as to not wait in the waiting room, but there were at least a dozen people coughing and sneezing in the waiting room as we walked thru it, the nurses were passing out masks to all that entered, and one person was sitting on the floor leaned up against the wall. With all the chaos going on, sick people all over the place, people in a real sense dying of the flu in our area, the first question we were asked was to verify our medical insurance coverage and to show a picture ID so no one would receive care that could not be billed. There was no real attempt being made to isolate the sick, no routine cleaning or decontamination being practiced, the masks, surgical type disposables, were totally inadequate for the situation, and if you walked in, touched the door handles, used the supplied pen to fill out the forms, and then put on the mask supplied, if it was airborne, it was probably too late.
    My belief about masks and respirators, is that you have to have them, the right ones, and with you when you need them, and at 80, my paranoia about masks,etc, when I paint, cast bullets, work with a sander, painting poly in the garage with good ventilation , wearing rubber gloves while changing brake pads, etc, has allowed me over the years to attend many funerals of my friends and neighbors who did not think it was necessary.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  4. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Must admit that I don't own one. I did have my old military one but was afraid it would raise too many eye brows if I tried to bring it back on the plane with me. Looking on Amazon to purchase in near future. Thanks!

    EDIT: The filters are expensive! About $38 a piece for good ones...
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  5. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Illini Warrior

    alot of preppers poo poo the idea of a breathing aid - definitely not a AAAA primary item to have in storage - but the usage crosses over to most of the SHTFs in one way or another ...

    ask anyone that had to clean out a freezer of rotten meat ....
    3M-TA3 and Yard Dart like this.
  6. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    Agreed, there's a good cost/weight/volume to benefit ratio, especially with the half masks. I hope more people consider throwing some basic respirators in their kits!
  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    The article is correct. I have read many times that the N95 masks are a must have to be stored so I bought some. I have found that I do not have a good seal on the bottom. I have a good fit on the upper but the chin area still allows in air. Not sure if I need a child size N95 to get a proper seal but have considered buying some and trying them out. Or thinking it could be a waste of money and should just get an industrial type mask.
    3M-TA3 and The_Prepared like this.
  8. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Illini Warrior

    see if you can find the N100 vs just the 95 - usually the quality is better also - for a tighter fit you might need to "pinch" the elastic with a clip or putting a knot or two in the elastic banding ...

    if the $$$$ allows - having a better quality mask would be a benefit for some of the more horrendous tasks - the paper filtering doesn't do much for smells and won't stand up to hard labor ....
    The_Prepared and Motomom34 like this.
  9. Brokor

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

    This is a pretty good write-up and I definitely approve.

    The_Prepared, Motomom34 and Yard Dart like this.
  10. crowdaddy

    crowdaddy Monkey+

    I worked in the asbestos abatement industry for almost 20 years. Most all my experience with "masks" comes for that. I worked with all types of systems from half face cartridge , PAPRs, (powered air purifying respirator) (my personal favorite) to full face supplied air systems. Most experience was with HEPA filters or combos VOC/HEPA types. The one thing I can tell you, wearing the wrong mask/ filter types will get you killed real quick or real slow! For any negative pressure mask to work, you must have a proper seal. Facial hair will prevent that. If you have a 5 o'clock shadow, you probably won't get a good seal. Mask defeated! N/P mask will not work with a beard or any substantial facial hair. Respirator cartridges are designed for specific threats. Make sure you have the right ones. And as an instructor once told the class i was in; paper "dust" type masks are good for one thing; wiping you ass ! Just my 2 cents...

    Just a PS to my last post. The paper dust type masks I was referring to are the type 95s. These will only work as a "nuisance" mask, dust, smoke, large type particulates. You can not get a seal on one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2018
  11. crowdaddy

    crowdaddy Monkey+

    I was reading through the posted article, and have to disagree with something they stated. They referenced powered respirators and that they did not consider them for the article because they did not work without power. That is incorrect. All PAPRs I have ever used, worked without power, it just becomes a negative pressure full face respirator. A PAPR is a full face respirator that has a battery pack attached; usually on a waist belt , that powers a small fan/blower that puts positive pressure the face piece. It pulls outside air through the attached filter cartridges.The over- pressure in the face piece; usually about 6% over ambient air, ensures that if the seal is broken on the mask, clean filtered air rushes OUT of the mask and the outside contaminated atmosphere cannot leak IN, This type of setup also makes it a lot easier the breath through the filter, thus reducing fatigue. If you haven't had to work in an environment wearing a negative pressure mask for any extended time it can be very tiring. When a PAPRs battery quits. it still filters the air just fine, it just becomes a N/P mask that is a little harder to breath through than with power. You may be in a situation where you have the ability to charge and recharge battery packs for some time. In the case that you lost that option, all the PAPRs I have ever seen or used have the ability to disconnect the supply hose from power pack/filter to the face piece. You simply disconnect the hose and screw the filter directly on to the face piece. Thus becoming a N/P full face respirator. The down side to a PAPR is they are expensive! Again, just my thoughts on the subject.
    3M-TA3 likes this.
  12. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    Moto -- N95s are fine (and the minimally acceptable product), but you might want to try going larger, not smaller, provided then the larger size doesn't create gap around your nose bridge. The chin area should curl down around the underside lip of your chin. And you'll have the same issue whether it's N95 or P100.

    Some people just can't get a good seal with disposables. There are reports that people who can't get a good seal with one brand switch to the other (3M <> Honeywell) and it works. Or go to the half face reusable.

    There are recommendations for the best of each class in the article.

    Thanks mate. What are each in the pic?
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  13. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    Agreed, all of which is in the post.

    Sorry but that's just incorrect. N95s are valuable and superior to plain dust/surgical masks (which are indeed pretty worthless for prepping), and "dust masks" do not refer to N95s. They are the lowest acceptable level of protection, but still acceptable, and one of the standards the CDC uses in pandemic situations.

    Thanks. Yes, there are many advantages to PAPR: easier breathing, positive pressure for outward leaky flow, etc.

    Keep in mind that we write articles for the middle 80% of the bell curve. Not specialists, uberhardcore preppers with full SCBA hazmat suits, etc. I made the judgment call that even with the pros of PAPR, it wasn't the right choice for most people. It's bulkier, dependent on power, and when you don't have power (which is our baseline assumption) it becomes inefficient.

    In the case of limited choices for children, we still went with the PAPR options, which makes more sense for children/infants with lower lung strength etc.

    I will look at updating the article's wording to be more precise about what happens when PAPR loses power. But since it wasn't in consideration and already long, I didn't go deep on details.
  14. Tackleberry

    Tackleberry Krieg Hündchen

    The Army is dumping the M40 series masks for the M50.

    The M40 is a great mask and it and spare sealed filters are available on the market now. Very good kit. Highly recommended.
    The_Prepared likes this.
  15. Shinzo

    Shinzo Monkey

    I agree with this. The N95 is incomparable both in effectiveness, role and price to what a CBRN mask would be, sure. But when you look at how effective they are, and their availability, they are a great mask.

    For starters, contamination of a virus or public infection requires safety procedures to be taken by everyone, and for what it's worth, the majority of these seem to be in underdeveloped areas. Providing a protective face mask en mass and quickly to as many people in an effected area is just a strategic nightmare. That's why disposable N95's are perfect. They're affordable, easy to hand out and available in large quantities very quickly.

    Second, their filtration rate is actually very good. They can filter anything above 0.3 microns in diameter. There is a table over on a gas mask review site that shows the size of certain hazardous particles, many of which fall above the 0.3 margin.

    And yes, these are superior to surgical masks. They are made for a completely different reason, to provide basic respiratory protection. Surgical masks are made primarily to protect the wearer against droplets (coughing, blood) from entering through either the nose or mouth, but they do not provide a face seal at all as they are loose fitting. N95s provide a face seal, so while they act as a particulate 'catcher', they are also forcing that air flow through the mask rather than allowing particulates to pass through the sides of the mask.

    That same site I got the table from references about five different styles of N95s from 3M, of which there are a lot more. These styles differ in fit, size, and make to allow for wearers with different facial features. The companies make these ranges so that if one doesn't work, then another should. Getting a face seal should not really be an issue anyway, as a seal test should be done to make sure the mask actually fits the face. If the seal test fails, then identify the problem and get another N95 that actually fits.
    bendsc likes this.
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