Airborne pollutants, toxic gases and biological agents. Natural and manmade disasters take on a more insidious nature when fumes, vapor or gases present harm. Some of the names are common, like ammonia, chloride, formaldehyde, hydrogen, sulfide and hydrogen cyanide, while others instill fear with the mere mention of their name, including mustard gas, sarin and dioctyl phthalate.

Protection from these threats can take numerous forms. These include a traditional gas mask, the iconic symbol of the apocalypse, the escape hood and the lowly respirator used by the masses to stifle the spread of influenza and other illnesses.

Here are 12 gas masks, escape hoods and respirators to consider packing in your bug-out or commuter bag.

Quick Facts:

  • A gas mask forms a seal around the user’s face to seal off the eyes, nose and mouth. It is designed for prolonged use, is reusable and must be sized to the user’s head to work properly.
  • Many gas masks are marked CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear) and are NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) approved.
  • Gas masks can filter out and protect you from chemical warfare agents such as nerve gas, mustard/blister gas, tear gas and other caustic respiratory agents.
  • An escape hood is disposable and designed for one-time use. One size fits all with this type of design, and many escape hoods can be used by adults as well as children.

For More Information:

Survivair Opti-Fit CBRN:; 800-430-5490

Avon C50:; 888-286-6440

Respro Bandit Scarf:

MSA Millenium CBRN:; 800-672-2222

Moldex 9000:; 800-421-0668

MSA S-Cap Hood:; 800-672-2222

North 5400:; 800-430-5490)

Moldex M2700N95 Special OPS:; 800-421-0668

Respro Sportsta Mask:

Israeli M-15 Military Gen 11 NBC Gas Mask:; 888-299-9750

ILC Dover Scape CO/CBRN 30 Hood:; 800-631-9567

Avon C420:; 888-286-6440

This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE™ Fall 2015 edition. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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