A mask is a piece of equipment that protects the wearer from harmful gases and vapors. The protective properties of gas masks differ depending on the type and design of the mask, such as the filtration efficiency, durability, occasion applicability, reusability, respiratory resistance, prices, and leakage-proof abilities.

Filtration Efficiency

The filtration efficiency of gas masks is determined by the size and type of aerosol particles, as well as the gas flow rate and pressure differential. The filtration efficiency decreases as the gas flow rate increases.


The durability of a gas mask is based on its ability to make a tight seal against the wearer’s face and maintain this seal under various conditions, such as talking, head side to side movement, and bending over. In addition, the mask must be able to resist the deformation of rubber parts due to external factors such as sunlight and extreme temperatures.

Activated Carbon

Activated carbon is an excellent filtering material, as it can adsorb vast amounts of gas pollutants. However, activated carbon has a limited surface area and can only absorb so much, after which it will no longer be effective (APS Physics). Carbon filters are commonly found in gas masks as an additional layer of protection to reduce odours.

A new automated gas mask fit testing kiosk was recently introduced at the 87th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron and enables soldiers to conduct their own air-sampling tests. This system, which is powered by Controlled Negative Pressure technology, directly measures respiratory leakage rather than using the Condensation Nucleus Counter method that samples the moisture of the inhaled air.