Gas masks are inventions developed to protect individuals from poisons and toxic substances in the air. The gas mask usually closes the mouth and nose to protect individuals from air hazards, however, most gas masks now protect vulnerable tissue such as the eye.
The gas mask has evolved to protect the wearer from gas poisons and particulates. The gas mask equipped with each filter is made to protect against different toxins or poison groups. The gas mask does not offer protection from corrosive gas which requires users to wear protective clothing.
The ancient Greeks are the first civilization to use a gas mask; They utilized the nature of ordinary sponges as a primitive gas mask. In Persia, Banu Musa Brothers developed a primitive gas mask in the 9th century, and its main goal was to offer protection to people working in polluted wells. Alexander Von Humboldt, a Prussian mining engineer, developed a primitive respirator to help miners who work in a deep mine.
Lewis P. Haslett, an American engineer, made a device in 1847 which resembled a modern gas mask. He was the first person in the US to receive a patent for a gas mask. His discovery worked through the use of a bulb-shaped filter to filter dust from air inhalation. This device also has a hole where the air is released back to the atmosphere. John Stenhouse, a Scottish chemist, built the initial version of the device following the design of Haslett.