The owner of an asbestos testing facility in South Salt Lake, Utah has issued a warning to all purchasers of an evidently popular Halloween accessory – a Russian-made GP-5 gas mask. According to the laboratory expert, the filter of the gas mask contains asbestos, the dangerous mineral substance outlawed for use in almost every way by federal and state laws.
Steve Dixon, the owner of Dixon Information, became curious about the potential asbestos hazards of the mask after he bought it for his grandson to wear for the upcoming Halloween. The Russian-made GP-5, which in Russian stands for Civilian Anti-gas Model 5, is a civilian gas mask that was mass manufactured and stored in Soviet nuclear fallout shelters for decades following World War II. The mask, which makes its beholder reminisce about surreal science fiction of mid-20th century nuclear war, indeed makes an excellent Halloween accessory. However, Dixon is warning the public to take precautions.
The mask is a single filter with a removable cartridge. It is the cartridge that Dixon states contains the asbestos fibers, likely installed intentionally. Dixon opines that the mask is likely very useful to have in a real-life gas attack situation, but certainly not for recreational purpose. In order to eliminate the hazard, Dixon recommends removing the filter cartridge before wearing it for Halloween or any other recreational purpose.
The stores selling the mask have announced that the mask will now be sold without the filter cartridge, and have encouraged all customers to remove the cartridge and to safely store it, or to return it to the store of purchase.
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