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Gas masks containing asbestos

Gas mask

A gas mask is a piece of breathing equipment that usually consists of a full-face shield, a hose and a detachable metal canister containing an asbestos filter.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found in the surface of the earth.  Asbestos fibres are 50 to 200 times thinner than a human hair and can:

  • float in the air for a long time
  • be invisible to the naked eye 
  • be inhaled into the lungs.

Gas masks with asbestos breathing devices are dangerous to the user’s health. If the mask is used as a breathing apparatus, the user is exposed to asbestos fibres through the filter. This can lead to their developing mesothelioma, a form of cancer almost always caused by asbestos.




The permanent ban on gas masks with asbestos breathing devices came into effect on 15 September 1993. This page includes information on hazards and how to comply with the ban.
Mandatory Standards

Mandatory Standards




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