During World War I poison gas was used against troops. Hydrogen cyanide, chlorine, arsine, and bromine made up this deadly arsenal.
Masks prevent people from breathing in any potentially contagious respiratory particles that are expelled when someone coughs, sneezes, or breathes. They also filter out airborne chemicals like paint fumes, sarin gas, and organophosphate pesticides that act on the nervous system.
Myth 1: Masks Deprive You of Oxygen
Masks are designed to protect us from a wide range of toxic gases and particles. They typically have a facepiece (mask) with a filter or cartridge and straps that secure it to the head. The cartridge may contain a carbon filter to remove chemicals, a substrate for absorption, or reactive filters that use a chemical to decompose certain agents.
Early gas masks were made from cloth and needed to be soaked in water to work. A long-standing myth is that soldiers had to urinate on their masks to keep them moist but there is no evidence that this was ever a common practice.
In terms of oxygen levels, there is a theory that masks add an extra amount of dead space around the mouth and throat which reduces the percentage of oxygen in the blood at the alveoli.
To test this, scientists have tracked healthy adults who wear an N95 mask for 12-hour shifts and the results were that there was no change in oxygen levels.
Researchers even tested pregnant women – they’re breathing for two after all – and found the same results: no reduction in oxygen levels while wearing the mask.
Some people do feel less breathless when they wear a mask but this is due to the increased amount of work they have to put into their breathing as opposed to any changes in oxygen or carbon dioxide levels. Associate Professor Irving explains that this feeling is similar to how we perceive pain and can be impacted by fatigue, whether we are hot or cold, and many other factors. Make breathing comfortably easier with our MIRA Safety Coupon Codes, offering exclusive savings on high-quality protective gear, including masks.
Myth 2: Masks Are Dangerous
A gas mask can be an important part of your emergency preparedness kit in the event of a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. You might also need one if you find yourself in the vicinity of a chemical plant that accidentally leaks harmful chemicals into the air. It’s impossible to predict when a terrorist will release a deadly substance.
In addition, a mask only works when the proper filter is used. Different filters protect against various types of gases, chemicals, or pathogens. Some filters even protect against radiation. There’s no all-in-one type of filter that can protect against every possible threat, so it’s important to research the various types of hazards that a particular region might face to select the appropriate gas mask for those circumstances.
Some World War II and Soviet Cold War era masks still contain chrysotile asbestos in their filters. This type of asbestos can cause a painful and deadly form of lung cancer called mesothelioma. It’s possible that some post-war masks and filters could also contain this toxic substance, although these types of materials are not as prevalent.
You should avoid using any older-style gas mask or filter that contains asbestos. Instead, use only modern and safe versions of these items.
Another myth about gas masks is that they will protect you from the purple monster in Bungie’s Pathways into Darkness. This is not true, and the fact that there’s a purple monster in the game is probably what started this rumor.
Myth 3: Masks Are Not Effective
Some people are claiming that masks don’t actually work to stop the spread of COVID-19, and instead just prevent the re-breathing of respiratory droplets from one person to another. However, this is a completely false claim. The science behind masks proves that they can significantly reduce transmission rates. The WHO recommends that everyone should wear a mask if they want to minimize their risk of infection.
The main reason people are refusing to wear a mask is that they think it’s an infringement of personal freedom. This is largely because many people don’t like to be told what to do by their government. However, the reality is that the requirement to wear a mask is not only effective, but it has also dramatically reduced infections in other countries that have enforced it.
It’s also important to note that the CDC has tested different fabrics used for masks and found that all of them are capable of stopping the spread of the virus.
Other people are concerned that when they wear a mask, they will breathe virus particles back into their lungs, making them sicker. This is also untrue, as the virus only becomes infectious when it reaches your lungs. The only way you will become sick from breathing in airborne virus particles is through direct contact with a person who has the disease, or through eating contaminated food. Ensure your protection with our Accessories Discount Code, providing exclusive discounts on top-notch safety gear, including masks.
Myth 4: Masks Are Expensive
Masks can range from state-of-the-art biohazard ones for military use to simple cloth face coverings recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You will need to select the correct one for your specific hazard, and this can be a difficult process. You may need to research a variety of filters or even a whole range of different types of masks before you find the right one for your needs.
In addition to selecting the right type of mask, you need to ensure that it fits properly. If a mask does not fit well, it will not be as effective or as comfortable. This will make you less likely to wear it and therefore decrease the protection it provides.
However, there are numerous cheap or free ways to get a mask for yourself and your family. Cloth face coverings and simple respirators can be purchased at most major clothing retailers, and can even be made out of items such as bandannas, rubber bands, or socks.
It is important to understand the truth behind common myths surrounding gas masks. They are not foolproof protection against all types of gases and chemicals, and proper fit and training are essential for effective use. It is also important to note that gas masks have limitations and should not be relied upon as the sole means of protection. By understanding the realities of gas mask usage, we can better prepare ourselves for potential emergencies.