A gas mask is basically a device that has been developed to protect the wearer from harmful dust, vapor and other deadly pollutants. Now there can be different types of gas masks available out there based on the technology that they are made with. Gas masks may either come with an outfitted filter screen that scan out the harmful pollutants or they may even come with an internal supply of fresh air. A gas mask is usually designed as a tight face fitting piece. With the development of technology, even the design and the construction of gas masks have also undergone a change. Today, there are more advanced masks available out there.
What is a gas mask made of?
A gas mask consists of many parts. A full-face gas mask is known to consist the following:
- A filter cartridge
- Flexible face covering piece
- Series of bands and straps to hold the mask in place
- Transparent eye lenses
The filter cartridge is basically a plastic canister of 3 to 4 inches long and 1 inch deep. It is known to contain a filtration aid. A filter cartridge is mainly equipped with a carbon-based filter as it can absorb a huge amount of organic gases. This is why a gas mask is an ideal protective gear during the time of chemical warfare as it is designed to absorb even the nigh molecular weight vapors as well. The absorbing property of the carbon filter is enhanced with the help of specific decomposition catalysts and reactants. Well, this is what is known as activated carbon.
The design of a gas mask may vary depending on the industrial application. For instance, some gas masks are designed to accept filters while others are made with speech diaphragms. There are also masks that are made to be connected to an external air supply. However, the fundamental design of a gas mask remains the same. The filter used in the mask may vary on the use of the product.
The quality of gas masks is controlled by CFR or Code of Federal Regulations. These regulations specify the type of masks that are to be used for specific applications. The different types of gas masks that are recognized by CFR include non-powered air-purifying particulate respirators, self-contained breathing apparatus, dust masks, and chemical cartridge respirators. CFR is known to stipulate the tests that are to be done in order to ensure the quality of the masks. The type of tests depends on the final application which basically means the type of pollutant that needs to be filtered. The authority also stipulates the conditions under which the tests are to be conducted. The masks are required to be tested under specific humidity and temperature conditions.
Overall, it can be concluded that gas masks are very important in times of chemical or biological warfare. These masks are known to provide the ultimate protection to its wearer at the time of need.