Notice: when working in a dusty environment without hazardous gases, often a mouth mask will do the job. Have a look at that page for more the icons.

Gas filters are filled with a filtering medium that will connect to contaminants in the air phyisically of chemically. The active component frequently used is activated carbon

The best way to imagine the gas filter, is by seeing it as a stack of very thin layers. The polluted air flows vertically through the layers from the environment into the mask. The polluted air will first saturate the outside carbon layer of the filter.The deeper you go, the less polluant you'll find. The saturated layers are often referred to as "dead layers". As more air gets filtered, this dead layers grows gradually and the active front shrinks. Once the innmermost layers start getting saturated too, they polluant will start accumulating on the outside. This will be your signal that the filters need replacement. Obviously, if you're working with highly contagious gases, you should preserve a wide margin of error.

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