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Asbestos risk: using vintage gas masks and helmets as teaching aids in schools

Asbestos risk: using vintage gas masks and helmets as teaching aids in schools

Teachers and pupils should not be handling any WWII gas masks or WWI helmets.

Second World War Gas Masks

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has found a majority of vintage masks analysed contained asbestos.  

It is very difficult to decide whether or not a mask contains asbestos from a simple visual examination, and in addition it is likely that some masks will be in very poor condition.  

HSE also sought guidance from Imperial War Museums (IWM), who advise that it should be assumed any mask, whatever the vintage, contains asbestos as well as potentially other toxic or otherwise hazardous materials, and so should not be worn, and only handled if clearly certified as safe to do so.

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