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The History of Gas Masks

Learn about the history of gas masks, and how it came to be.
by

Joshua Hendley

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of The History of Gas Masks

The History of Gas Masks What is a gas mask? A gas mask is a mask used to protect the user from dangerous chemicals, airborne pollutants, and toxic gases. A gas mask will usually look like this. Are gas masks used only for the military? Actually no, gas masks are used by construction workers, chemical industry workers, at one time even civilians, and even the police. Graffiti taggers also use gas masks to protect them from the toxic fumes of their canisters. Gas masks are also an emblem in industrial music. Do gas masks last forever? gas masks have a limited lifespan that is related to the absorbent capacity of the filter. Once the filter has been saturated with hazardous chemicals, it ceases to provide protection and the user may be injured. Most gas masks use sealing caps over the air intake to prevent the filter from degrading before use, but the protective abilities degrade as the filter ages or if it is exposed to moisture and heat. Gas masks were issued to all British civilians at the start of World War II because there was fear that Hitler would send bombers to drop poison gas bombs. Therefore all civilians were issued gas masks. Were gas masks used in World War II? Were gas masks ever used in school during World War II? Yes, they were often used in school for drills as a precaution against attack by gas bombs. As shown in this photo, the children had to wear the gas masks to see if they worked correctly. No, not all gas masks can protect you. You might need another gas mask in order to be protected. For example, a half mask may not be sufficient because the eyes are very sensitive to chemicals and offer an easy entry point for bacteria. Can all gas masks protect me? How do filters work? Any respirator that you use will most likely have a filter that purifies the air you inhale. Any air filter will have one or more techniques to purify the air: *Particle filtration *Chemical absorption or adsorption *Chemical reaction to neutralize a chemical Do all filters work against all chemicals? Not all filters work against all types of chemicals, different types of filters are needed in order to survive different chemicals such as these filters: AX, A, B, E, K, CO, Hg, Reactor, P, ABEK, ABEK-P3, ABEK-HgP3 and other combinations of filters to protect against multiple chemicals. When was the very first gas mask introduced? Although it may not be a gas mask, the very first mask similar to the gas mask was the Plague Doctor's Mask. It had a bird-like beak and was filled with herbs on the inside. It often looked like this. Who invented the gas mask? Excellent question! Not many people know who he is, but James Bert Garner was the very first man to successfully invent the gas mask. He was around age 45 when he invented it. He got the idea after he read an account of a gas attack on Canadian and French troops by the German army on April 22, 1915 at Ypres. This is what he looked like around age 45. How come some people are scared of gas masks? Thank you for taking the time to read this power point! The photos in this power point are not mine and were used for non-profit reasons. There were many stories of Russian gas masks, most of the stories were used to scare little kids. However, the stories were passed on and then civilians became uncomfortable with gas masks. To make gas masks seem less scary they named the gas masks for kids the Micky Mouse Mask. Information was collected from the following websites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_mask http://science.howstuffworks.com/gas-mask.htm http://www.bbc.co.uk/schoolradio/subjects/history/ww2clips/children/gas_masks
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