We’ve sold you a gas mask whose filter contains asbestos.
We hope the above got your attention. The deal is, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) tested 12 Russian GP-5 gas mask filters and all were found to contain chrysotile or white asbestos. Asbestos is a harmful substance that has been banned in Finland since 1994. Because our products have been sold after this, we have to organise a campaign to get back all the said filters in Finland. We’re not required to do this internationally, but we’re doing it anyway, as it is the right thing to do. You will reveice 5€ refund in cold cash or 7€ discount code to our webshop.
What to do
Our records show that you’ve purchased a russian gas mask from us. If you’ve resold it, please pass this e-mail forward to the person who has it now.
The filter is the key. Don’t use the mask with the filter on. The mask itself is harmless and you can keep it. It’s the fun part of the product anyway.
Please return the filter to us - reply to this e-mail and we’ll let you know the details on how. When replying, please give your name, street address and country, so we can arrange for transport - this is an automated message sent all over the world, so we don’t know who you are unless you tell us.
The other alternative is that if your country has a system to get rid of items that have asbestos, you can use that. In Finland it’s as simple as going to the nearest refuse dump / refuse processing station and giving them the filter. We don’t know about the rest of the world.
Asbestos is mostly legal in the United States, because corporate greed. We assume, that because of this, there isn’t a system to process asbestos refuse. If you return the filter to us, we’ll have it processed in Finland.
We didn’t know the mask contained asbestos. There was an internet rumour circulating that it would be so, and after we heard about it, we put some text on the product page indicating that the filter may contain asbestos and you shouldn’t use it. If you read the product description when you bought the mask, you’ve seen the text. In hindsight it was stupid to still sell the mask, but we didn’t take the rumour seriously at the time, and we didn’t really even know there was a way to have the filters tested. Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) found out about the rumour, ordered us to send 12 samples and tested them - and they all had asbestos in the particle filter. Anything containing asbestos is illegal in Finland, so here we are.
The mask has chrysotile or white asbestos in the textile part of the particle filter. The reason for asbestos here is that it works really well for filtering small particles. We have no official information about the health hazard this poses, as the only official test we have is that there is asbestos. Some unofficial tests have been run and it would appear that the asbestos stays where it is, it shouldn’t be able to get through the charcoal part of the filter and all in all the filter should see some serious damage before the asbestos would get moving (and get into your lungs.) This, however, is still unofficial and it’s best to assume the filter is a health hazard and you’d want to get rid of it.
Gas masks from other sources
It’s very likely that all Russian filters contain asbestos. There’s a reason asbestos was used so much - apart from the lung risk, it’s really good material for many kind of uses. It would be very likely that all gas mask filters, no matter what the origin, made before 1990s contain asbestos. It’s likely that gas mask filters made in the us even today contain asbestos. In short, you should treat all military surplus gas mask filters as health hazard. They wouldn’t be good for their original use anyway, as the activated charcoal is most likely saturated in all of them.