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Guide on How Gas Masks Work

Whenever a biological or chemical threat occurs, the first action is to use secure gas masks. Known as respirators, gas masks also serve as a major protector in industrial environments. There is a variety of gas masks available in the market. You can also find gas mask hood on

They protect workers against a variety of particulates; from flour dust to toxic organic chemicals in paint. Understanding the components of and how gas masks operate is important to ensure safety when wearing it.

Categories of Gas Masks

When envisioning gas masks most picture a tightly-fitted plastic or rubber face mask with a filter cartridge covering the mouth and nose. These are known as half-mask air-purifying gas masks.

These types of gas masks may not be sufficient for the agents in the surrounding environment because the eyes are exposed thus offering an easy entrance for bacteria and other toxins. Therefore, full-face respirator would be necessary. These gas masks provide protection to the entire face, including the eyes.

These two types of gas masks that offer two advantages:


Unfortunately, any type of leak in the mask will render them ineffective. The leak could come from a tear in the mask or an incorrect fit between the user’s face and the mask. However, there are two additional types of gas masks that solve this problem: supplied air and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).

Any respirator that is used is likely to boast a filter that purifies the air. However, it must also remove bacteria, chemicals and toxins from the air. Therefore, all air filters utilize one or more of three methods of purification:

Particle filtration
Chemical absorption
Chemical reaction