gas mask

gas mask
a masklike device containing or attached to a component that filters the air inhaled by the wearer through charcoal and chemicals, for protecting the face and lungs against noxious gases and fumes, as in warfare or in certain industrial processes.

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▪ protective device
 breathing device designed to protect the wearer against harmful substances in the air. The typical gas mask consists of a tight-fitting facepiece that contains filters, an exhalation valve, and transparent eyepieces. It is held to the face by straps and can be worn in association with a protective hood. The filter elements in the cheeks of the mask remove contaminants from the air that is drawn through the mask by the wearer's inhaling. The filters, which can be replaced, clean the air but do not add oxygen to it (some masks are connected by a hose to a separate tank of oxygen). The most common filters employ fibre screens (to strain out finely divided solid particles) and chemical compounds such as charcoal (to capture or chemically alter poisonous gases in the air). Charcoal absorbs and holds a fairly large volume of poisonous gases.

      Gas masks are widely used by the world's armed forces. Although it is possible to design filtering devices that will neutralize almost any specific toxic substance in the air, it is impossible to combine in one mask protection against all toxic substances. Military gas masks are accordingly constructed with a view to counteracting those chemicals that are thought most likely to be used in wartime. Gas masks are effective only against those chemical-warfare agents that are dispersed as true gases and are injurious when breathed. Agents such as mustard gas that are dispersed in liquid form and attack the body through the skin surface necessitate the use of special protective clothing in addition to gas masks.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • gas mask — ► NOUN ▪ a protective mask used to cover the face as a defence against poison gas …   English terms dictionary

  • gas mask — n a mask connected to a chemical air filter and used to protect the face and lungs from toxic gases broadly respirator (1) …   Medical dictionary

  • gas mask — gas ,mask noun count a special covering for your face that protects you from poisonous gas …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • gas mask — gas masks N COUNT A gas mask is a device that you wear over your face in order to protect yourself from poisonous gases …   English dictionary

  • gas mask — n a piece of equipment worn over your face to protect you from poisonous gases …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • gas mask — gas′ mask n. chem. a masklike device that filters air through charcoal and chemicals to protect the wearer against noxious gases • Etymology: 1910–15 …   From formal English to slang

  • gas mask — n. a device worn over the face to prevent the breathing in of poisonous gases by chemically filtering them out of the air …   English World dictionary

  • Gas mask — A gas mask is a mask worn over the face to protect the wearer from inhaling airborne pollutants and toxic materials. The mask forms a sealed cover over the nose and mouth, but may also cover the eyes and other vulnerable soft tissues of the face …   Wikipedia

  • gas mask — noun : a close fitting facepiece connected to a canister through which all air breathed is drawn to protect the respiratory tract and face against irritating and poisonous gases : respirator * * * a masklike device containing or attached to a… …   Useful english dictionary

  • gas mask — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms gas mask : singular gas mask plural gas masks a special covering for your face that protects you from poisonous gas …   English dictionary

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