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Evaluation of Protective Gas Masks during Medical Unit Activity

Evaluation of a battalion medical unit drill in a chemical warfare environment was carried out by comparing two respiratory protective devices: a new protective device and the mask currently used in the Israel Defense Forces (the M-15). After a medical deployment drill conducted with 24 participants and 14 inspectors, comfort, communication, and various aspects of activity were evaluated by structured questionnaires.

The new device, consisting of a hood, nose cup, and air blower system, was found to be preferable to the M-15 mask for physical and respiratory comfort, quality of visual field, and performance. The communication capabilities of the unit members, on the other hand, were severely limited by the hearing reduction caused by the hood of the new protective device.

We conclude that the new M 15 gas mask device proved superior to the current mask by facilitating the better performance of the team at the drill. Interference with hearing must be dealt with technically or bypassed by modifications in the unit's mode of communication. For more information about M 15 gas masks, you can hop over to this site


Chemical warfare agents, especially organophosphate compounds, have the potential of causing mass casualties requiring urgent medical intervention. In these situations, the medical personnel should be protected from exposure to CW agents. The protective measures should be designed to minimize the limitations they may cause in performance.

The respiratory protective mask (M-15) used today in the Israel Defense Forces as protection against CW agents has a few flaws. The protection factor depends on the proper size and correct positioning of the face. Increasing physical effort causes an increase in respiratory resistance and fogging of the eyepieces. Special eyeglasses must be fitted to the soldier.