Gas masks with asbestos breathing devices are banned from sale in Australia.
Gas masks with asbestos breathing devices usually consist 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. 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.
Gas masks with asbestos breathing devices are banned in Australia.