The Ultimate Gas Mask & Respirator Guide

Gas masks and respirators. We've all seen them in movies and TV shows, and some of you have seen or needed them on the job to varying degrees. There are various types of gas masks today. You can choose from military, surplus, to Israeli M 15 filter gas masks and there are even complete gas mask family kits available.  You can also navigate to and find nato gas mask and special hoods with blower systems. 

Most people don't have a clue how to use one, when or why to use them, or what type to get. Let's clear up some of the misconceptions and make sure that you can make the right decisions for yourself and your family and make sure you don't waste money or get the wrong stuff! 

Why Do You Need a Gas Mask or Respirator?

Breathing is important, right? You can last about 2 minutes without breathing before you pass out, and then you are in real trouble.

There are a huge amount of reasons why you and your family would need gas masks or respirators:

  • Smoke from buildings or wildfires
  • Particulates launched during natural disasters, like earthquakes
  • Biological outbreaks or attacks
  • Chemical or Nuclear attacks
  • Riot agents like pepper spray or tear gas

Anyone who lives in a multi-floor building, city, or an area that suffers from wildfires needs to have one that will protect against smoke inhalation at the very least. If you spend time underground in subways, it might not be a bad idea to have one either, fires do happen!

How do They Work?

Gas masks and respirators are essentially filters. Filters remove particles. Particles of the nasty stuff floating around that you don't want in your lungs or bloodstream. Think of a vacuum cleaner and a bag. The bag collects all the dirt but the air passes through it nice and clean. Same concept. To filter out gasses, the filters use something absorbent which attracts and captures chemicals as they pass by.