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could my gas mask be radioactive? Answered

Mabe it's a stupid question, or I'm paranoid, but I'd recently bought a Russian gas mask from a surplus store. It has metal parts, could it have been exposed to radioactivity?




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.

If its the common GP-5 type with the grey rubber hood, round goggles and green filter, then odds are it isn't radioactive. The rubber is sensetive to sunlight and therefor if it had been used, it would show signs of deterioration.

If you recieved yours as mine was, in the khaki shoulder bag with the filter and mask seperated with the filter wrapped in paper and the "snout" of the gas mask also wrapped then it's fresh surplus as the paper acts like a seal.

You should be fine, but if you are worried, geiger counters are reasonably cheap now, and also make a good toy. :)

Have fun! :)

Is it used?

yes, because it expose in radioactive gas or material It will be danger gas mask for you and it is have a meal parts so the radioactive materials is come to the metal parts and possible the metal parts is rust , cause by expose in radioactive materials or gas and i have a picture to ; post.


Thanks guys, could there be lead paint on it, and where on the mask is the date it was made?


8 years ago

You're probably safe.  Exposure to ionizing radiation doesn't make you or an object radioactive; that's a common misconception.  The only way that it would be emitting radioactive radiation is if there were radioactive materials physically present and attached to the gas mask somewhere.  If you can, open the filters and check if they're dirty.  Replace them if they are.

It's possible, but I think it more likely this was part of a job-lot that were in storage and were recently disposed-of.
Don't worry be happy.

.  Possible? Yes.
.  Probable? No.
.  Worth worrying about? Not in my opinion, but I'm no expert (kelseymh is the nukeleuhr scientist around here).
.  Only way to tell for sure is to check it with a geiger counter or some other (alpha?) detector.

A bit of Googling could probably track down some of those disposable exposure badges pretty easily, but I'm with you. Not worth worrying about.

Oh it most certainly may have been exposed to a radioactive environment!  After all, Russian soldiers had been known to sell their tanks for vodka!