You veterans out there know those three words well, and I know you’ll never forget your date with the gas chamber back in basic. Ah, the memories….
We build equipment for international journalists, and we were recently asked about protection from CS Gas (“riot gas”). Note that CS attacks anything wet on the body such as eyes, nose, and mouth.)
There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding gas masks, respirators, and all the various filter cartridges. The CDC/NIOSH and OSHA are the place to get correct info, and below is a summary of what you will find there.
CS Gas is considered an “organic vapor.” Suitable respirator cartridges should be mated to a particulate filter of at least N95 grade. Filter ratings are N: not resistant to oil, R: resistant to oil, and P: oil-Proof. P is the best rating.
Suitable cartridges for CS Gas include the following:
- 6001 Organic Vapor -Black
- 6003 Organic Vapor / Acid Gas – Yellow
- 6005 Formaldehyde / Organic Vapor – Olive/Black
- 6006 Multi-vapor – Olive
Filters and cartridges can expire even without use, and they should be replaced regularly. Store cartridges in their sealed plastic packaging until needed.
We recommend an appropriate gas cartridge paired up with a replaceable particulate filter. Proper fit of headgear is also important. Whiskers or beards will prevent a proper seal/fit.
Just because you have a mask/respirator does NOT mean you are safe from harmful vapors. Move and communicate. Don’t stick around unless you understand and accept the consequences.