posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 04:31 AM
OKay peeps, this is intended as a heads up from an ex NBC Instructor.
Do not, repeat, do not purchase gas masks, respirator systems or filters from off the shelf sources.
Never, repeat, never purchase second hand gask masks, respirator systems or filters from Militaria outlets.
The same goes for NBC Suits or Capes or any type of protective clothing.
WHY? I hear you scream.
Because all the above mentioned items have specific shelf lives, usually 5 years for gas masks and respirator systems and 10 years for filters.
This is usually the manufacturers stated shelf life, after which time, neoprene begins to perish and the agent [charcoal and fullers earth] in
respirator filters begins to break down, as does the cotton fibre.
The best gas masks, respirator systems and filters are made specifically for the armed forces in your country and the manufacturers may not sell
direct to the public. HINT: Try obtaining a list of manufacturers from defence sources, form a limited liability company, and buy direct from a
For example, the best NBC Individual protection Equipment [NBC IPE] here in the Uk is manufactured by Avon Rubber [who used to be in Whiltshire] They
do not sell direct to the public.
Their new respirator, the S12, the new NBC Suit the No 1 Mk 6B, with Inner/Outer Gloves and Overboots, will cost you anything up to £2000.
That is just the initial outlay. Ideally, you should have 3 suits, 2 respirators with 2 spare cannisters and 3 pairs of Inner/Outer Gloves and 2 pairs
of Overboots per person, if you are serious about protecting yourself and your family.
Total cost for a family of 4 = £8,000. That is just for bog standard fitting.
You need a correctly fitted gask mask or respirator system. If it does not fit properly, you'll die in an NBC environment.
Avon Rubber produce the S12 in Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large sizes, whilst their NBC Suits are measured by Height/Chest size for
Smocks and Waist, Seat and Inside Leg for Trousers.
They also produce an all-in-one NBC Suit made from NBC resistent GoreTex, but don't even go there, as there are not even enbough ready for the
UK Armed Forces Mobilization Stores and will not be sold to civilians. [It's secret, you see!]
With regards to cannisters for gas masks, they should be in a sealed aluminium foil package or bag and, clearly marked with the chemical agents
they have been tested against!
All UK NBC IPE is clearly marked on the package with Lot Number, Year of Manufacture and Year of Packing.
I was recently given an NBC IPE package for comments by my Osteo. He had purchased it locally for £150. It comprised an old S6 respirator, 2 x S6
cannisters and, would you believe it, a polythene sheet with a hole for the head to poke through.
Amazing value and I told him to put it in his dustbin.
Be warned! Even in this day and age, there are people out and about who will rip you off because they are feeding on the current terrorist activity to
make a quick buck!