Particulate masks.

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by fritz_monroe, Nov 2, 2007.


  1. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe Guest

    I'm trying to get my GHB together and to prep the house for any possibilities. One of the things I want to add is some particulate masks. I've seen 3M N95 masks that seem to fit well and usually are mentioned in various articles. I've found some that also have activated charcoal in them and they claim to be good against things like hanta and sarin, but don't look like they fit all that well.

    I know that an actual respirator is the real way to go, but I know I wouldn't always carry the respirator. I figure that a respirator might be good in the car or house, but a mask fits in a pocket so I can carry it everywhere. So individually wrapped would be a good thing. Of course I'd like it to be good for all threats, to me the most likely are dirty bomb, a flu scare or maybe chemicals from either terrorist or industrial accident.

    Can anyone recommend any specific masks? How about a good but affordable respirator? Would I need a hood for a 4 y.o. or is that old enough for a mask?
     
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  3. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    When I was enlisted, I my MOS was 54E, or NBC, so an area of knowledge for me. A particulate mask is exactly that, used for particulates. Even with charcoal, Sarin is a gas and wouldn't be sufficiently stopped by this mask. Any chemical compounds used for injuring will get into the eyes and be absorbed, hence, trying to stop anything along that line will take a full face respirator.
    As for respirator or gas masks, I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for. I am a fan of the military M-40 because that is what I use and I know it works. Make sure when you choose a mask, whichever one, that you research the availability of filters for it and research what those filters are good for. Civilian masks are designed for civilian chemicals, military masks are designed for military chemicals. A military mask filter for the most part will not stop civilian single compound chemcials, such as chlorine, they are designed to be used against large organophosphate molecule chemicals.
    As for children, there are incubator type masks out there, but they are expensive. I believe that the isrealis market them, but that is about as much as I know. A overpressured filtered bubble is probably going to be your best bet, kind of like "the boy in the plastic bubble" approach, but that can be expensive. Children won't typically fit a respirator type mask unless it is made for them until they are 10 to 12 years of age.
     
  4. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe Guest

    Ok, so the masks typically won't be useful for chemicals. But what's a recommendation for things like a dirty bomb where there will be small particals of matter blown all over the place. Or how about bird flu, or some other disease that begins spreading like wild fire?
     
  5. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    For diseases, particulate masks are only good for someone sneezing on you, that is why you see a lot of Japanese walking around with them on. The best thing for disease is distance. There are very few diseases that are truely airborne, so if you are going to come into contact with them, you would probably need a full face respirator with decontamination afterwards. We tend to be a creature that puts our fingers into our eyes, noses, and mouths alot, so anti microbial soap is a must. Now, for dirty bombs, sealing the house off and not going outside is going to be your best bet, but even better is vacating the area. If you have to venture outside, a simple dust respirator will work, but my suggestion is a half face mask with cartridge filters, much like the kind you see auto body guys wear when sanding and painting. Nothing will stop gamma radiation but several feet of earth wood, or several inches of steel or lead. Beta is basically electrical and will cause burns when you come in contact with them, but they don't last long. The Alpha partical dust is what you have to worry about the most on inhaling and a piece of paper will stop it, so dust masks will work, but I would always be afraid of a seal leak, especially if you or your wife have a beard, (kidding), but hair does cause leakage on gas masks and other masks that require a skin seal.
    In short, a dust mask is really no better than a bandanna over your face, if you are wanting to get serious, a gas mask or half face respirators and goggles, but now you are talking expense. You have to do a Risk Analysis on your likely scenarios and go from there.
     
  6. BAT1

    BAT1 Cowboys know no fear

    I have two North 6400 full face masks with Niosh cl/hc/sd/cd/hf/fm/ filters. We also have some oxygen bottles with air lines and face masks just in case. I recommend every member of the family have this set up. I also have some painters masks.
     
  7. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    What is your reasoning for the oxygen bottles?
     
  8. BAT1

    BAT1 Cowboys know no fear

    I was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure and have asthma. It gives a extra layer of protection.
     
  9. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Ah, medical. I was hoping you weren't advocating it's use as an alternative to a respirator or gas mask. Do you have to have pure oxygen, or can you use forced air? If so, 3M has a forced air full faced respirator that utilizes a normal air compressor that has an in line filter. That could come in handy in your situation.
     

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