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But you could poison yourself, or give yourself cancer. This is because old gas mask filters used, in some cases, asbestos. This is especially true with drum/coffee can filters or filters from before 1960.
Additionally, check up on your specific filter-- newer ones can contain hexavalent chromium. This was safe when it was first manufactured, but broke down after time, and, according to some sources, poses a very serious risk of triggering respiratory problems, acute death (or blunt. Death either way.) and cancer.
Some sources say that these old filters contain only charcoal, based on visual evidence. Upon chemical testing, it is shown that many do contain asbestos/chromium. While this is not true with all old filters, it's often hard to find good data, so it is always better to buy a new, non toxic one.
This being said, if you can identify your filter and you know FOR CERTAIN it is safe, go ahead. Otherwise, it makes a good display peice.
No, the key word is surplus. That means that it was never used in combat or at all. It basically sat in a warehouse for years, and was eventually auctioned off to make room for more surplus. The filter though might not be safe to use, over time the filters break down so it might not be ffective anymore.
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Posted:Apr 3, 2010
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