For those you who follow Prepping 101 here at GunsAmerica Digest, most likely you have seen that I have many times suggested that you buy a Russian GP-5, GP-7, or other surplus gas mask, and filters.
The reason for this has been cost. The masks themselves never degrade from what I have seen, even under poor storage. There are Vietnam era masks around still, the cheekpiece kind, that are still supple and lock a tight seal, with perfectly good gaskets. Masks do not have an expiration date, even though governments do expire and surplus them. But this is just to fill the pockets of their coffers, who are the worldwide military industrial complex.
Features on masks are a whole other thing. The Mira Safety masks here are modern military Czech masks, of two grades. One has eye holes. The other has a full face shield for better vision, and allows you to wear eyeglasses. Both also have drinking tubes, and they are brand new production.
If you have the budget, this company, Mira Safety, is a real company and has current, military grade products, and more importantly, accountability. The products they sell are from the Czech government, so you know that they aren’t some Chinese knockoff, which most of the full face masks on Ebay are (and who knows what’s even in those filters).
You can buy surplus 1990s production Russian GP-7/PMK2 masks on Ebay, from Russian sellers, and those are legit great masks. But the full face Czech mask with with the eyeglasses option, brand new, just isn’t the same class.
As for filters, and their shelf lives, they are more a subject of debate. I totally disagree with the guy here from Mira about surplus Russian filters. For prior articles I have even actually taken apart Russian filters myself to see if there was asbestos in them, and there was not. If there were some with asbestos from the 1980s, I have not found them. The green ones that you can order today are not from then, and do not have what appears to be asbestos.
But even if you want to argue that, back it up one step further even.
Say OK, maybe the fibrous material in the filter that I found was asbestos. I’m sorry but it was behind the activated carbon, on the outside of the filter.
None of that inside material was degraded at all, and had no reason to shed fibers. These were old filters, improperly stored (as are most Russian surplus filters), and there was no evidence of degradation at all. The inner initial filters do not crumble, or fall apart. I think the whole idea of these “bad” filters was invented, so that people will not have faith in old filters, so they can sell you new filters.
Activated carbon, the main filtration ingredient in most filters, does not degrade when it is sealed. Unsealed and put on the mask, like some people do, for sure degrade, because the carbon attracts all the stuff in the air, and turns itself into a brick. But all real NBC filters come with a cap, and that cap has a gasket. Just don’t even open it. I have Swiss filters, the same 40mm size, that come in a plastic clamshell you have to crack open. And those filters come on Ebay all the time, as do 1990s and early 2000s era Czeck filters, with the same looking labels as some of the Mira filters.
The new Mira Czech filters now have been rated for a 20 year shelf life. Why 20? Because that’s the official number, like 5, or 7, or 10. It is arbitrary. My guess is that all sealed filters have a virtually unlimited shelf life.
Otherwise, in a sealed environment, activated carbon is almost completely stable. I have searched and searched, and I have yet to find a scientific paper (that isn’t financed by a military contractor who makes gas mask filters) that says that activated carbon degrades at all. They all make a point that the opposite is true. Go searching and see for yourself.
The Mira filters, again, if you have the budget, are very well known, and do have more than just activated carbon in them. These days filter technology has matured to include chemistry that will trap certain poisonous gasses, and even carbon monoxide. I didn’t entirely understand the explanation of why their filter is better than a regular filter for Iodine-131, but perhaps I will return to this product if the company is interested later. My guess is that they won’t be lol.
If you want to order from Mira, do so soon. They were already getting swamped a week ago at SHOT. I can’t figure out how to get the $50 filter deal when you buy a mask on their website right now, so perhaps they have removed it due to the rush for masks due to the coronavirus pandemic. But maybe call them if you are interested. There is a good package deal on a canteen, filter, hose, and mask.
Note that the children’s suit you see above his head to the left is supposedly available, for $500. Again, call them. The only system they have right now is a either a standard Russian mask with hose filter, and an old Russian crib type model for infants. If there are any left on Ebay next week I will probably try to get out a comprehensive overview of children’s masks. For small children you really need the positive pressure systems from Israel. But if they are gone, which I suspect will be the case, there will be no point.
This is why you should keep food, water, and other essentials at home. I don’t know that this is the big one, but if it isn’t, there are plenty of resources in this column to be ready when the music really stops. Great civilizations die with a whimper, not a bang, and that whimper may just be a viral pandemic. Who knows. Masks are a no-brainer.https://www.mirasafety.com/
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