A NBC Mask, or Nuclear-Biological-Chemical mask, is a specially designed mask to protect the user from inhaling nuclear contaminants (e.g. fallout), biological threats, or chemical agents. While NBC threats are some of the least likely to occur, they are some of the most horrific. Having an NBC mask during an attack could potentially save your life.
There are many types of commercial and military NBC masks. All protect the full face, some also protect the head with a hood. Masks come with either a full face shield or two eyepieces depending on the model. All limit the use of shoulder-fired weapons somewhat due to visibility issues. NBC masks come with either side mounted filters or front/bottom mounted filters. A good mask will have filters on either side that can be mounted on the non-weapon side. Note that most military surplus masks are not sold with NBC filters in them but typically come only with riot control agent (i.e. irritants) filters in them.
- Keep the mask clean and free from dust by storing in its bag or other holder.
- Keep the straps fully loosened and turned around from the face side of the mask.
- Pull mask from bag and place against the chin holding it in the proper position with one hand while breathing through the mask.
- With the free hand pull all the webbing/straps over the head.
- While drawing in a breath use both hands to quickly pull back the straps at the jaw level cinching them tight.
- Quickly draw back the straps at the temple level cinching them tight.
- Tighten any other straps till the mask is fully sealed.
- Test the seal by covering the filter intake and taking in a deep breath. Air should not enter anywhere.
- Adjust the straps further till the mask is sealed, retest.
- Don a NBC Suit if you have one.