*NBC Masks*
By: Sarge

There have been several question regarding Protective Masks and what to buy. While I will attempt to give you as much information as I can, there is no way for me to know exactly what is best. I will try to make recommendations as to what civilian type masks can be substituted for military type masks, but that choice will ultimately need to be made by you the reader, based upon your budget and of course availability. The recommendations are based upon a comparison of the military M17 and M40 series protective masks.

First of all the primary function of the Protective Mask is too keep you from inhaling or ingesting harmful particles and/or vapors that Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) can cause. Our primary concern, ranked in order by me below, based upon likelihood of the type of attack. This order is my opinion and is not necessarily correct, but will still be useful in determining what protection is needed.

Please keep in mind an M17 and M40 series chemical-biological mask, when properly fitted and worn with the hood, protects against field concentrations of all known chemical and biological agents in vapor or aerosol form, but will not protect you when the air has a low-oxygen content, such as in tunnels or caves, or when the air has a high level of smoke mixtures. Do not use it for firefighting. It does not protect against ammonia vapors or carbon monoxide. It also is not designed for radiological protection. However, worn properly, it provides added alpha and beta dust inhalation protection, and individuals should wear it in all known situations until the contamination is identified. This will apply to civilian models of full face masks with the proper filters installed.

 Some definition of terms is in order, so that no confusion of what a particular filter will protect against.

Fume - Vapor, Gas or Smoke (.001-1 micron in size)

Vapor - A substance that is present in a gaseous phase, generally exists as a liquid or solid at room temperature.

Gas - A substance that exists in a gaseous phase at room temperature.

Smoke - A cloud of vapor made up of small particles.

Mist or Aerosol - Fine drops of liquid sprayed into the air. (.01-10 microns in size)


3MFull Facepiece Respirators 7000 Series are designed to accommodate a wide variety of cartridges, filters and combinations. The 7276 Cartridge will filter certain organic vapors, chlorine, hydrogen chloride, chlorine dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide (escape only) ammonia/methylamine, formaldehyde 2 or hydrogen fluoride. This cartridge in combination with the 7090 P100 filter in a 7287 retainer should give protection equal to or beyond what the military specifications call for.




Millennium Chemical-Biological Mask (MSA)

The Millennium Chemical-Biological Mask and the Advantage 1000 CBA-RCA Mask are effective against biological agents and these chemical warfare (CW) agents: GA, GB (Sarin), GD, VX, Mustard, and Lewisite. Testing conducted by MSA and independent laboratories assures that the gas mask and canister meet the requirements for effectiveness against CW agents using the test protocol recommended by the Chemical Agent Safety and Health Policy Action Committee (CASHPAC). They are also effective against OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) Riot Control Agent and HCN (Hydrogen Cyanide), but, again, have not been tested or approved by NIOSH for these applications.

A Hycar version of the reliable military-style gas mask (MCU-2/P Mask, used by Air Force in Desert Storm) that combines high performance, customized fit, comfort, and cost efficiency. Flexible, 1-piece polyurethane lens with wide field of vision is bonded to durable Hycar rubber facepiece. Dual-canister mount allows weapon sighting from either shoulder. Drinking tube provides connection for fluid ingestion in contaminated atmospheres. Fully elastic, 6-point head harness promotes easy on-off, easy adjustment, no hair pulling. Internal nosecup with 2 check valves deflects air from the lens, reduces fogging. Standard mechanical speaking diaphragm included, or add MSAs optional ESP Communications System. NIOSH is currently evaluating this mask for protection against chloroacetophenone (CN), chlorobenzylidene (CS), P100 particulate efficiency level, and particulates. 




PROMASK Full face mask One mask - many options! The mask for all tasks!

Approved to EN 136 Class 3, the highest standard for safety!
Promask, the new full face mask has many unique features in addition to offering proven comfort, convenience and reliability.The Promask provides unrivalled protection using the full range of Pro2000 filters.

A power-assisted respirator

A compressed-airline respirator

A welding shield which can also be used with power-assisted or compressed-air supplies.





Faulty Or Expired NBC Gear List!




Israeli Filters

Blue string (Practice filter) and yellow string (NBC Rated filter)

Average dates from 1964 to 1975

Generally comes with Israeli masks

Should only be used as a practice filter, if the canister is in good shape and has no loose particle media inside. Will not function correctly in an NBC environment. To dispose of: fill with water and discard




Russian A-10 Filter

This type of filter should be avoided completely.  Was designed for infants and children, by using less filter media for easier breathing, only problem is that it hardly contains any filter media and would only filtrate chemical warfare agents for less than 10 minutes. Usally comes with Russian infant masks, and some Israeli masks Should not to be used for practice.





West German Filter


East German Filter

German R-30 Filter

For those who have this type of filter, this is a reminder that this filter will expire on Nov 2002. After this filter reaches it's expiration date, use for practice





M-9 Filter

60 mm threaded filter 100% EXPIRED



M10A1 Filter

Great filter, but currently expired You can find these with the M24 and M25 protective masks.









Super Filter (Current American Made Filter)

This type of filter is a good example of what never to purchase. The reason being is that this filter has NO lot date and/or expiration dates.


M13A1 Filter

This filter has a BLACK ring on it, which means that it will only filter tear-gas and radiological particles...that is of course if the filter wasn't expired.

The correct color of ring is GREEN, for NBC rated...but still will not filter chlorine, ammonia or smallpox virus.

These filters are outdated unless you have years 1988 or better.  The last known production date was in 1991.

If you have the 1988 made filters, they will expire in MARCH 2002 If the package is bloated then the filters are completely expired.



C2 Filter

Do not use if over 10 years old. You can find the lot date, (date of manufacture) on the can itself.  Look for the code on the can.


RFT 910000CF23043

RFT [91] Date of Manufacture

These are surplus filters. The military converted over to the C2A1 filters. C2A1 filters will not filtrate chlorine, ammonia or smallpox virus, (Which the M95 C/A filter has a certified capacity against) Try opening one of these filters with your eyes closed and while holding your breath...


Protective Masks

Israeli 'Civilian' Protective Mask

This picture is mostly for informational purposes, showing you what an Israeli mask looks like with a M95 C/A filter on. These masks are very basic in terms of protection. They tend to leak without the user knowing. One size DOES NOT FIT ALL! No drinking tube.Was designed for waiting out an attack. If this mask is your only means of protection, then you will need to purchase our current M95 C/A filter for complete protection against NBC warfare agents. Most companies that offer these masks, lable them as BRAND NEW, when they are some 10 to 20 years old.  Yes they may come in a box, but they have been sitting in a warehouse for a long time. Also, keep in mind that these masks were rotated out of stock because the shelf-life was getting to old.  These masks were then sent to America and sold as BRAND NEW, NEVER ISSUED by current surplus companies.

Your life will depend on the type of equipment you procure.  



M10M Protective Mask

This type of protective mask should NEVER be used for protecting against NBC warfare agents. Use ONLY for protection against tear-gas.






 Russian M41

Ardvark Protective Mask

Both of the Russian masks listed here and below are not even worth the trash bag to throw them away in. To put it nicely, if his s the type of protective masks you and your family have in your home when there is a chemical release, then you will be leaving your residence in "body bags". ------SORRY They do make nice conversation pieces.




Russian SMS Protective Mask

M9/M9A1 Protective Mask

Completly outdated. Uses a 60 mm threaded filter which haven't been produced in a long time. Show item ONLY






C3 Canadian Protective Mask

Also known as the M69 protective mask. The Canadian Military rotated these out of issue because of problems with the voice-mitter leaking. If you own one of these you will need to check it with Banana Oil Ampules be sure to check around the eye pieces and more importantly, the voice-mitter.






The expired mask list was taken from the American School of Defense. http://www.asod.org/index.htm

I include it here in order to completely cover the dangers of having the above masks.


All materials at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright 1996 - 2001 Trip Williams. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for personal use only. Use of any material contained herein is subject to stated terms or written permission.