Re: Gas Mask recommendations? (Was Re: Biowar link)

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Thu Oct 04 2001 - 09:34:16 MDT

Brian Atkins wrote:
> I did some research on this a couple weeks ago with the help of some others
> to check my conclusions, and the conclusion is the M95 gas mask is pretty
> much the best general gas mask. It is a modern ergonomic design with an
> excellent filter that can take care of just about anything including stuff
> like chlorine, ammonia, and smallpox. This place used to have it advertised
> for under $200, but now it looks like they upped their price:

NOTE: Smallpox is an amazingly HUGE virus. Do not expect other viral
attacks (anthrax, hanta, etc) to be stopped by this filter, though it
should be able to deal with bacterial attacks like botulin, bubonic,

While anthrax can be treated with a vaccine (as can smallpox, of
course), hanta has no vaccine at this point, so far as I know. Anybody
know different?

Hanta can be spread by the spraying of dried dust of the excrement of
infected rodents. Don't know if you must ingest the dust itself.

Furthermore: having a gas mask does not protect you against all chemical
attacks. Many, including nerve agents, penetrate through the skin. There
are antidotes available for many nerve agents, that typically are
composed of two injections: a highly toxic anti-toxin, and the
anti-toxin's counter agent (if you took the anti-toxin when you were not
under attack, you would poison yourself without the counteragent).

Some chemical attacks will include multiple weapons, meant to get you to
remove some part of your protective gear (itching and blistering agents
do this) so as to expose yourself more to other toxins like nerve

Finally: gas masks are uncomfortable. TOO BAD. Take it off and expect to
die. With NBC gear on, you do learn a great amount of patience with the
sweating, itches, scratches, heat and humidity, tightness, etc. If you
are a fidgety person, practice by putting on all your gear and then
doing your yoga meditations for a good couple hours. If anything can
help you attain trance-like states, it is learning to ignore the
discomfort of NBC gear for extended periods.

ALSO: don't just get a gasmask. There are inexpensive sensors you can
buy that detect the presence of various toxic agents. Not only are they
important for telling you when to put your gear on, but also telling you
when it is safe to take it off.

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