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Above, the CDC provides recommendations for disposable respirators.

Happy endings...
It's good to have a variety of respirators in your house, in your
vehicles and at work should emergency strike. Practice using your
gas mask and know how to use your other respirators before you
need them.

As a prepper you may have many questions about respirators, and
among them, about the differences between dust masks, surgical
mask, N95 respirators, N100 respirators, or NATO gas masks NBC
gas mask. Know the difference and know how to correctly use them.

Related articles...

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Self Contained Breathing Apparatus
Above, learn how to properly use an N95 respirator.

#5: N99 Respirator (extended use, not one time use).
An N99 respirator is a step up from an N95 gas mask in that it
cleans the air you breathe from dust, smog and mold. The N99
respirator filters at least 99% of airborne particles.

The Debrief Me Military N99 Respirator, pictured immediate right,
filters membranes block 99.997% of airborne pathogens (bacteria
and viruses that cause illness); block allergens, pollen and
airborne contaminants down to 0.1 microns; and reduces moisture
loss by 88%. It has a double layer protection for antibacterial
protection. This mask will keep safe your mouth by protecting
from all dust, air polluted place, vehicles smoke, and sandy air. It
is the anti-dust even in changing weather. You get one mask and
6 filters. Compared to the N95 which are disposable. This means
you'll need to buy one package for every member of your family.

Just another of the levels of respirators on the market, an N99
filters 99% or more of the particles. Is it better than an N95?
Yes, it has an extra 4% filtration. This is negligible. The real
difference is that an N99 also can catch the following:
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent chromium,
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs),
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)

  • When to use an N99 Respirator: The main reason to use an
    N99 respirator is for cleaning up mold. For work requiring
    dusting, grinding, rasping, sanding, sawing, or sweeping,
    this is the respirator for you.

#6: N100 Respirators.
N100 respirators filter small airborne particulates and reduce risk
of virus and bacteria filtering into the lungs. You may think that
the N100 is a better respirator than the N95 and you'd be right,
but this doesn't mean it's right for you. It offers higher protection
at a cost and a specific use. You see the N100 respirator is
intended for U.S. occupational workplace use.

Like the N95, the N100 respirator has a maximized air chamber
that makes breathing easy. An N100 is a NIOSH-approved
respirator that works for at least 99.97% percent filtration
efficiency against certain non-oil based particles. It's also
compatible with a variety of protective eye-wear and hearing

  • When to use an N100 Respirator: An N100 respirator meets
    OSHA, EPA and HUD filtering face piece requirements for lead
    exposure, When you need protection from non-oily debris
    and materials that are larger than 0.3 microns or greater.

  • N100-P respirators are ideal for dusty and oily
    applications. NIOSH-approved P100 respirators offers
    protection against oil and non-oil particulates.

#7: Fire escape mask.
Do you have a fire escape mask? If you're a prepper you likely
have a gas mask. They won't help you with smoke! Smoke will
destroy the filters first, and then your lungs.

A fire escape mask is designed to prevent smoke inhalation and
mobilize an individual in the event of a fire in order to escape
safely. The
FireMask RPD60 escape mask with Firegloves, pictured
immediate right in red is a respiratory protective device for
protection against smoke, Carbon Monoxide (CO), Hydrogen
Sulfide, Ammonia, toxic gases, fire, and radiant heat.Our personal
smoke respirator provides 60 minutes of safe breathing in dense
smoke and fumes so you can make your way out of a burning
building. Our neoprene neck band stretches to allow the mask to
go over your head and then comfortably secure around your neck
keeping smoke and chemicals out. Each one time-use smoke
mask comes vacuum sealed , so it’s ready when you need it.

#8: NBC gas mask.
The need for gas masks to handle chemical, biological, or
radiological agents in terrorism or warfare scenarios is the final
layer of defense in personal protective equipment.

The main reason for a gas mask is for nuclear, biological or
chemical attacks:

  • Nuclear attacks / Radiological threat: radiation from a
    nuclear explosion or nuclear weapon causes radioactive
    decay that produces high-energy radiation particles
    hazardous to the body.

  • Chemical attacks: Gas, such as pepper spray, Agent Orange,
    and other man-made chemicals.

Some NBC gas mask on the market include:

  • Israeli gas mask. An Israeli gas mask is an NBC gas mask
    that's capable of protecting against Nuclear, Biological and
    Chemical contaminants. They are designed to temporarily
    terminate harmful contaminates and are only as good as how
    quickly you can put them on following danger, how tightly
    they fit on your face and how many filters you have handy.  
    These require 40mm NATO filters and usually only come with
    one. Be careful not to purchase a Halloween costume

  • NATO Gas Mask. Approved by NATO, these NBC gas masks
    are approved for civilian use.

#9: CBRN Respirators (gas masks)
CBRN respirators protect against a wide array of harmful and
highly toxic substances and go above and beyond an NBC gas
maks. Specifically, a CBRN respirator is one that has protection
against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear
contaminants. They're intended to protect the wearer during riots,
war or man-made nuclear disasters. Whether for law enforcement,
hazmat response teams, or military warfare, CBRN gas masks.

  • Chemical. Chemical agents disrupt bodily functions. CBRN
    gas masks offer a resistance to chemical warefare agents
    and industrial chemicals.

  • Biological. Biological agents release micro organism intended
    to cause disease.

  • Radiological. Radiological agents include dirty bombs or
    radioactive contamination in the form of solids, liquids or
    gases. There are a variety of radiological emergencies
    described by the CDC.

  • Nuclear. Nuclear agents as from a nuclear explosion will
    wreak havoc on a body with high-energy radiation.

  • When to use a CBRN respirator: CBRN respirators are
    designed for a wide range of applications from agriculture,
    construction, chemical laboratory/ productiondisater relief,
    manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, primary metals, pesticide
    protection, , health/epidemic prevention, environmental
    technology, mining, metallurgy, industrial production, paint
    application, and toxic vapor filtration and volcano eruption
    filtration more. For more information on this type of
    respirator, read the Department of Homeland's 2017 report
    available in a PDF. Security Chemical, Biological,
    Radiological, and Nuclear  Air-Purifying Respirators
    Assessment Report. The report provides relevant information
    relevant to purchasing.

#10: Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA
Known as the firefighers mask, a Self Contained Breathing
Apparatus, known as an SCBA mask is a very expensive respirator
that offers compressed air. The high-pressure tank has a pressure
regulator and a mouthpiece with a full face mask. It's all
connected together and mounted on the back of the wearer.

Lightweight and durable an SCBA masks keeps contaminants at
bay. Ideal for a variety of industrial-hazard applications.

  • When to use an SCBA: Generally preppers do not own SBCA
    devices as they are cost prohibitive; however preppers with
    an unlimited budget who are concerned with Ebola may have
    them. Primary uses for an SCBA include firefighters and other
    rescue workers. SCUBA divers use an underwater version.

While an NBC gas mask offers maximum protection, what will you
do if your gas mask becomes infected? Nuclear Biological and
Chemical gas masks serve to protect you from toxic gases and
fumes, and they have the benefit in a pandemic situation of
sealing over the nose and mouth to create a superior barrier over
traditional surgical masks; however, NBC gas masks are also not
disposable! It presents a contamination problem, which is why
preppers should stock plenty of N-100 respirator masks and know
the proper way to remove them.

So now you know! Before you
buy the whole family an NBC gas
mask, buy a box or two of surgical masks (the kind you can get at
dollar stores), then head out to get the specific pandemic
variety of respirators, such as the N95 or N100. The likelihood of
a virus is more likely and critical for prepper defense.

There are two kinds respirators:
  1. air-purifying respirators ~ air purifying respirators use
    filters, cartridges, or canisters to remove contaminants from
    the air you breathe. This includes all kinds of respirators and
    gas masks on this pag). Particulate respirators do not
    protect against gases, gas and vapor respirators or a
  2. atmosphere-supplying respirators, ~ atmosphere
    supplying respirators provide clean air from an
    uncontaminated source. Think scuba tank.

What are the three kinds of respirators?
While there are many kinds of respirators on the market from
those sold as dust masks, surgical masks and gas masks to those
with specific names such as an N95 mask, N99 mask N100 mask
and NIOSH masks, CBRN, NATO, or NBC gas masks and the like,
generally we can lump them into three kinds of respirators.

  1. Particulate respirators such as N95 masks.
  2. Escape masks
  3. Air-purifying respirators, such as gas masks

Prepare to live happily ever after knowing the difference between
a surgical mask, an N95 respirator, an N100 respirator and a gas
mask. Each has its place in the prepper household, but the
priorities for newbie preppers is to get a box of respirators before
the cool gas mask. Now you know that Some respirators protect
the wearer against harmful dust particulates or infectious agents
filtering contaminants in the air. Others protect the wearer
against gases and vapors. Still others protect against nuclear and
radiological contaminants.

How to correctly use a disposable respirator
It's always important to read the package of your respirator as
well as all user instructions, warnings and limitations
accompanying each product. Before you need to use a disposable
respirator! Misuse of personal protective equipment may result in
injury, sickness, or death.

  • Will facial hair affect use of a gas mask? With a beard you
    won't be able to get a tight fit. Essentially, facial hair will
    interfere with the seal and outside contaminants will could
    permeate into the air you breathe. Firefighters know that
    facial hair prevents their SCBA mask from sealing to the face.

  • Have a medical condition? Beware of using a respirator.
    People with chronic heart or lung conditions, such as
    congestive heart disease or asthma should consult their
    health care provider before using a respirator as the device
    may be taxing on the lungs. Your physician can help you
    access the options.

You'll breathe easier knowing your lungs have adequate
protection against alergens, adhesives, dust, pesticides, paint
fumes, pollen, solvents,and caustic cleaning products.

Learn how to correctly use a disposable respirator in the video
CBRN respirators
N95 Niosh-certified respirator
Debrief Me Military N99 Respirator
N-100 P respirator
NIOSH N99 Respirator
N100 Respirators
Here are the ten types of respirators:

#1: Surgical masks.
A dust mask is not a surgical mask. A surgical mask is the most
basic kind of respiratory protection. The primary purpose of a
surgical mask is to protect the patient, not so much the physician
or other medical personnel. A surgical mask offers some value to
the wearer, it blocks most of the odor, dust, debris and some
harmful particles in the air, but it's generally only fluid resistant
and does NOT offer 100% protection. It's important to note that
a surgical mask does NOT completely eliminate the risk of
contracting disease or infection. Consider it only a layer of
protection. A surgical mask provides a layer of protection for
bodily fluids, but it does not fully protect against viruses and is
porous and does not provide a tight fit around the face.

It's important to explain to children the importance of wearing
the mask. In the case of the
children's face mask, pictured top
right, there's a Disney design which help convince children to
wear them.

Surgical masks have some characteristics:
  • Latex-free and fiberglass free because both are allergens.
  • Fluid resistant
  • Filter 99% of bacteria
  • Ear loops (positions differently from an N95 mask)
  • They are not anti-viral, but vira resistant
  • Disposable, and for one-time use only. In some cases you
    may need to replace them after 20 minutes of use.

  • When to use a surgical mask: Surgical masks are ideal for
    any medical facility, beauty salon, catering services, food
    processing, motorcycle rides, environmental protection, and
    for general  cleaning purposes.

  • How to wear a surgical mask:  
  • Start by cleaning your hands with soap and water or
    hand sanitizer before touching the mask.
  • Hold both of the earloops and gently lift and remove the
  • Start at the chin ensure the bendable edge  goes at the
    top for your nose.
  • Position to cover your nose completely.
  • Place the ear loops around each ear.
  • Pinch the stiff edge to the shape of your nose.
  • Press the mask with your hands over your mouth and
  • When you're done wearing, throw the mask in the trash.
    and clean your hands with soap and water or hand

#2: Anti-viral masks.
Anti-viral masks are one step up from surgical masks. Both kinds
of masks help protect the wearer from others who are infected
and also help protect others if the wearer is infected. The
difference is that an anti-viral mask will protect you to a higher
degree than an ordinary surgical mask.

Curad's anti-viral facemasks, pictured immediate right kill 99.99%
of tested flu viruses in 5 minutes of contact on the surface of the
facemask, including
swine flu and bird flu, as well these
facemasks inactivated 99.99% of lab tested Influenza A and B
viruses within five minutes contact. It's a pandemic mask with
pleats has a hydrophilic plastic coating that rapidly absorbs
aerosol droplets away from the outer surface of the mask.

  • When to use an anti-viral mask. If you're caring for sick
    family members and want to protect your own health, put
    one on! Anyone who has an autoimmune disease should
    have these handy for being in crowded situations. Cold and
    flu season is the perfect time to pull out the anti-viral masks
    particularly during bouts of swine flu or bird flu. If you're
    going to be within six feet of someone.

#3: N95 and R95 Respirators (one time use only).
Many preppers have heard of an N95 respirator, but few have
heard of the R95 varieties"

  • An N95 respirator is a personal protective device that helps
    remove at least 95% of airborne pathogens like bacteria and
    viruses that cause illness. These types of filtesr do not
    protect against oily particles. The "N" significes that they're
    appropriate for liquid or non-oil based particles from sprays
    that do not also emit oil aerosols or vapors. Another benefit
    of N95 respirators is that they have a maximized air chamber
    to ease breathing. Also, they won't fog up your glasses. The
    N95 particulate mask is made with adjustable nose piece for
    custom fit and secured seal against the face.  Some N95
    respirators are cleared by the Food and Drug administration
    as a surgical mask. In such cases you'll find FDA text on the
    packaging. NIOSH-approved and FDA-cleared N95 respirators
    are not endorsements of the products, but rather that they
    meet the standards set forth based on testing.

  • An R95 respirator is one that has a designation for oily-
    based particulate matter. The "R" signifies that these types
    of respirators are resistant to oils.  Respirators with this
    protection class R95 filter out 95% of the particles from the
    ambient air, including oil-based liquid aerosols (marking R =
    resistant to oil, use max. 480 min or one work shift in
    atmospheres containing oil). These kinds of respirators also
    add an organic factor of carbon. Unpleasant nuisance organic
    odors below the permissible exposure limit are removed by
    the active carbon layer.

Of the two, N95 are more commonplace. An N95 respirator filters
95% of the particulate matter such as:
  • Air pollution
  • Asthma and air pollen
  • Automobile exhaust
  • Dust and dirt
  • Forest fire smoke
  • Woodworking
  • Viruses

  • When to use an N95 respirator. During the massive
    California fires you may have seen the intelligent survivors
    wearing their N-95 mask. An N95 is ideal for helping you
    breath through unhealthy air or dangerous air quality
    conditions from massive fires.

  • When to use an R95 respirator. R95 respirators filter 95%
    of the particles from the ambient air and are resistant to oil
    making them ideal for work conditions where oil
    contaminants may be in the air. Because they are
    hypoallergenic, they're best for preppers who have allergens.

#4: NIOSH-certified respirators.
What's a NIOSH respirator? A NIOSH respirator is backed by the
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which is a
division of the Center's for Disease Control. These types of masks
are primarily designed for workplace safety but can come in quite
handy in
pandemic preparedness.

Respirators that are NIOSH-certified can protect against
SARs and Hautavirus for example. They are disposable, and for
one-time use only. The respirators, pictured right, are NIOSH-
approved and certified.

  • When to use a NIOSH-certified respirator. According to
    the CDC, "Adequate ventilation or scrubbing of
    contaminants, are the preferred control methods for reducing
    worker exposures." Next comes use of a NIOSH-certified
Respirators for Preppers
All about respirators

Respiratory equipment for preppers.
If you're new to prepping then you may be overwhelmed at the
variety of respirators on the market. Some are disposable, others
require cartridges and some have funny names. NIOSH, N95,
NATO, NBC, and CBRN gas masks — there are a lot of acronyms
out there. With so much confusion, it's time to clear the air about

Below is an overview of different kinds of respirators, as well as a
few lessons on how to use them...

Respiratory Protection for Preppers
Respirators help protect your lungs from harm by filtering your air
supply. A layer of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) these
devices are routinely in a prepper's supply cabinet to prevent
inhalation and exposure to toxic, infectious, and radioactive
materials and contaminants in the air. The covering over nose and
mouth prevent you from inhaling allergens, dust, smoke, viruses
and noxious substances.

Don't Mickey Mouse around and use the wrong respirator! A mask
that protects you against viruses, isn't the kind of mask that will
protect you from bad air quality when there's been a large fire and
the air is spreading over multiple counties. Respiratory protection
is an important consideration to safeguard against harmful dusts,
fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, vapors, or sprays. There are
many different types of respirators and below is a list of them.

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