GP-5 gas mask

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The GP-5 Gasmask with Filter.

The GP-5 gas mask[1] (Russian: Гражда́нский Противога́з-5, tr. Grazhdanskii Protivogaz-5) is a Soviet-made single-filter gas mask. It was issued to the Soviet population starting in 1970; production ended in 1989. It is a lightweight mask, weighing 1.09 kg (2.42 lbs). It can operate in all weather and withstand temperatures from −40 degrees (Celsius and Fahrenheit) to 114 °C (237 °F). The GP-5 also comes with sealed glass eye pieces. They were originally made to protect the wearer from radioactive fallout during the Cold War and were distributed to most fallout shelters. They have recently been tested in Poland to see if they have NBC protective capabilities. It was concluded that the mask will last in an NBC situation for 24 hours. They are a favourite of gas mask collectors because they are common and have the "old" circular eyepieces like masks used in WWII and the "helmet" type masks.

This filter is known to contain Asbestos.[citation needed] It is recommended to swap this filter for a modern one.

There has been some debate as to whether or not the filters for these masks contain asbestos. In October 2013, an Asbestos lab found out, that the cotton layer of the filter is 7.5 percent asbestos.[citation needed] In fact, the filter is configurated that the asbestos can't be breathed in, if the filter layer isn't damaged.[citation needed]. A Youtube video was posted online that had set to confirm these claims.[2]

A variation of the GP-5 gas mask is the GP-6, which features a circular piece of metal that contains a thin piece of plastic on the inside, which acts as a voice diaphragm, as well as the dubious design for ear holes, which compromised the seal of the mask. Furthermore, the GP-5 mask is known to tightly cling to the skin of the head, making it only wearable by having relatively short hair.

The GP-5 was made famous for its apparent use in Chernobyl after the nuclear disaster, but in reality the IP-4 rebreather was commonly used during cleanup, although some GP-5 gas masks were used.[citation needed] This gas mask has spawned many copies; for instance, the TF-1 gas mask is similar to the GP-5, and the SchMS sniper mask has the same hood style design. There is also a Russian military version called the SchM41M, which often uses a coffee can-style filter with a hose. These masks are commonly mistaken for the SchM41M mask, the difference being the size of the intake and outtake valves.

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