Buying a gas mask, then read this..
What do you need a gas mask for, if you are military or police, chances are you have a good idea of what you need. If you are a prepper getting ready for when the SHTF you need to think about what you want to protect yourself from, are you concerned about a pandemic, so you only need a P100 level of filtration, are you also looking to prepare for chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) threats?
Many preppers are aware of the possibility of a dirty bomb, a mix of explosive and radioactive material, then you will need CBRN-rated personal protective equipment (PPE). Fortunately, there are gas masks out there that can protect an individual from a myriad of threats. For general preparedness, you should look for masks that can protect from CBRN threats.
Check its new and certified to standards:
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) - USA
CE - All products in the European Economic Area (EEA)
EN 136:1998 - European Standard
A gas mask with the proper filter, will protect against vapors, gases, and particles, rated on the threat they protect the wearer from.
The ratings are as follows:
• Chemical Blowing and Riot Control Agents
• Specialty Ratings – designed to protect the wearer from specific HAZMAT or CBRN threats
For preparedness uses, you should choose a CBRN mask.
The following gas masks we recommend:
The MIRA Safety CM-6M Gas Mask protects the wearer’s airways, eyes, and face from toxic chemicals, gases, vapors, and radioactive dust. The face plate is hypoallergenic and wide, offering panoramic viewing. It also prevents fogging, even in the toughest conditions. The mask fits 40mm 1/7” NATO filter cartridges and is manufactured according to the EN 136:1998 standard, class III. The first choice for preppers.
CM-6M Mask Summary:
• EN 136:1998 CI. 3 certification
• Panoramic visor
• Inner mask prevents fogging even under harsh conditions
• Fits two standard filter cartridges, makes breathing easier, and increases time between filter changes
• Compatible with a variety of filters for various levels of protection
• Can be used by industry, agriculture, law enforcement, fire departments, military, or for civil defense purposes
• Comes with hydration system and canteen
• Compatible with CamelBak bladders
• Comes with a speech diaphragm
• Shelf life of 20 years
The Mira Safety CM-7M Gas Mask is more military orientated, designed to work with optics such as night vision, and rifle sights etc. It protects the airways, eyes, and face from toxic chemicals, gases, vapors, and radioactive dust, while allowing for good optics when in combat to provide a tactical advantage.
The mask is used by armed forces around the world such as the Czech army.
CM-7M Mask Summary:
• EN 136:1998 CI. 3 certification
• Comfortable and wearable for long periods of time
• Low breathing resistance
• Compatible with a wide variety of military optical instruments
• Eyepieces resistant to scratches and impact
• Includes hydration system
• Comes with speech diaphragm
• Easy decontamination
• Recessed visor options for use with rifles
• Effective within a temperature range of -30°C to 70°C
If you’re looking for a CBRN gas mask that’s compatible with a variety of optics, go with the CM-7M. Most masks on the market will not allow you to get close enough to the stock to sight in on your target, or get close enough to a magnified scope to make it usable.
Now, onto what not to buy!
There are also a lot of gas masks on the surplus market that are NOT safe. In fact, they are expired gas masks that won’t give you the protection you need.
Here is a list of masks to avoid:
- Cheap Chinese gas masks sold on auction sites. They are made from cheap materials and are generally rated only by Chinese oversight institutions. In addition, replacement filters are very hard to find.
- M17 Gas Mask, as used by the U.S. Armed Forces, in the Vietnam War, but was later replaced by updated models. The mask had to be removed to change the filters!
- Czech M-10-M Protective Mask, an outdated mask that is not at all useful for CBRN protection. The design was inspired by the M17.
- GP-5 Gas Mask, a Russian gas mask that is completely outdated. Production ended in 1990, you can be sure it’s of no use, very common on uk surplus sites.
- Canadian C-3 Protective Mask, made from 1960-1982, it’s been out of production for over 30 years. This mask uses 60mm threaded filters which are very difficult to find.
- Serbian M1 Gas Mask, based on the old M9 American gas mask, it is old surplus and can’t be trusted, there may also be chromium in the filter.
Hopefully this guide has given you the information to make the correct choice when buying a new gas mask, please dont be tempted to buy a very old useless gas mask off surplus stores, your life is worth more than that!