Considerations for Full Face Gas Masks
In today's world, there are many potential threats to our safety and well being. From riots and mass protests to terrorist attacks and nuclear incidents, it's important to be prepared for anything. One of the best ways to protect yourself in these dangerous situations is with a full face gas mask.
What is a Full Face Gas Mask?
A full face gas mask covers the entire face, including the eyes, nose, and mouth. This type of mask is typically used by military personnel, law enforcement officers, and first responders. Gas masks are also used by civilians in areas where there is a risk of chemical leaks, structure fires, wildfires or exposure to hazardous materials.
A gas mask for use against Chemical Warfare Agents (CWA) and chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) incidents is typically constructed of butyl rubber, which is both expensive and resistant to corrosive and penetrating gases and vapours.
A gas mask for use in an industrial or commercial setting, called a respirator, will differ in that they are often constructed of silicone, or soft rubber. These offer excellent fit, but reduced efficacy against aggressive chemicals. They can be less expensive than military grade gas masks, but that is not always the case.
Why Use a Full Face Gas Mask?
There are many benefits to using a full face gas mask. For one, they provide complete respiratory protection. This means that if you're exposed to hazardous materials, you won't have to worry about them harming your lungs. Additionally, gas masks can protect your eyes and face from irritants and toxins.
Gas masks can be worn comfortably for hours, and many can be hooked up to positive air pressure respiration systems (PAPR) which greatly reduce breathing resistance through the filter, and provide cooling action against the face.
And finally, gas masks can help you stay calm in an emergency situation. Wearing a gas mask can give you a sense of security and help you stay focused on evacuating to safety.
How to Choose the Right Full Face Gas Mask?
When choosing a full face gas mask, it's important to pick one that will fit you properly. You don't want any gaps between the mask and your skin, as this could allow harmful substances to enter your body through the mouth or eyes. Additionally, make sure that the mask you choose has filters that will protect you from the specific type of danger you're facing. For example, if you're worried about a chemical attack, make sure your mask has filters that are designed to block out chemical warfare agents.
For the civilian market, MIRA Safety offers military grade gas masks constructed of Butyl Rubber for maximum chemical resistance, and 40mm NATO filter threads for maximum compatibility.
They have several grades of filter cartridges, ranging from Particlemax virus filters all the way to full CBRN filters. What places them ahead of many of the competitors is they make all of their products available to civilians, a first in a market where items and technology are often restricted to agency or governmental entities.
Several models of mask are available, ranging from full open visor to eye cup only models, each with their distinctive pros and cons.
The current version of the CM-6M Tactical Respirator has a large viewing area and several types of tear-off protective films available. The shape of the respirator does not lend itself well to shooting while wearing it however, and it is only available in ‘one-size-fits-most’.
The CM-7M Military Gas Mask comes in three sizes and is identifiable via distinctive eye cups. The lower profile of this military gas mask is better suited to shooting with an optic (we have to be clear, NONE of them are low profile enough to be the same as shooting without them), at the expense of potentially lower situational awareness due to the lack of a full visor.
At the time of this writing, a future CM-8M is in the works the is intended to balance between the two of these options. We have seen, tested and evaluated prototype models, and the road to perfection continues.
In conclusion, full face gas masks are an essential piece of safety equipment for anyone who wants to be prepared for potential emergencies. If you're looking for a gas mask, make sure to choose one that fits well and has the right type of filter for the threats you're most concerned about. See our recent BLOG post on The Case fro Civilian Gas Mask Ownership for more details, and Stay Safe out there!
What do you think? Do you have a full face gas mask?
Let us know in the comments below!