Gas Masks are a critical piece of your survival kit in the event of an emergency. They can help protect you from chemicals, biological and radiological agents. However, these masks are only effective if you use the correct filter for the chemical or biological agent you’re concerned about. The best way to ensure you’re prepared for any situation is to have a well-stocked supply of different filters and a good quality gas mask.
The most important factor that affects a mask’s filtration efficiency is its particle size, as well as its composition and type. The filtration efficiency of a mask increases as the aerosol size decreases, while it decreases as the aerosol composition and type increases.
Another important factor that influences a mask’s filtration efficiency is the gas flow rate. The filtration efficiency of a mask decreases as the gas flow rate increases, due to increased pressure difference and respiratory resistance.
Finally, the fit of a mask can also influence its filtration efficiency. If the mask is not tight enough, it can cause heat, moisture and carbon dioxide accumulation inside the face, which leads to decreased filtration efficiency and discomfort.
A new automated mask fit testing kiosk has been developed at the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency that uses Controlled Negative Pressure technology, which directly measures respiratory leakage. This method is much more accurate than the current Condensation Nucleus Counter test, which samples particles from the air using a nebulizer. It’s currently being field-tested and will be available to all Air Force personnel in 2023. cbrn