I have recently documented two different topics of caution to bear in mind when using a gasmask, that of not depending on it when you are in danger of being in an environment that is not conducive to the need to have a filter to trap contaminates, (like in a smokey environment), and precautions to take when dealing with a substance that is dangerous in other ways other than as a chemical irritant, (mustard gas for instance).
However, there are other precautions you should take as well when confronted with the possible need to don a gasmask. Most of these involve the delivery of this substance which can be just as dangerous to you as the substance itself. Here are 3 precautions that you must take when you are depending on a gasmask to protect you from harm.
1. The gasmask is not body armor. That means that this thing will not protect you from blunt force trauma... at least not completely. It is better than nothing, but you need to be aware that gas canisters are usually launched by something propulsive and the canister itself can hurt you very badly.
2. It is not heat retardant. It will not protect you from being burned either. As was covered in the last blog, a chemical agent that is caustic in nature will eat you up regardless of whether you have a gasmask on or not.
3. A gasmask can actually be detrimental in some cases. Most notably, the gasmask can hurt you if it catches on fire. Made out of plastic and rubber, a gasmask will burn quite energetically in most instances. If it is stuck to your face while it is burning, t hat will lead to severe damage to your face.