New respiratory mask developed for U.S. Army personnel

U.S. Army personnel recently began utilizing Edgewood Chemical Biological Center Engineering's joint service general purpose mask, a respiratory filtration system that can protect soldiers against radioactive particles as well as biological and chemical agents.

JSGPM was designed over a 15-years period with the goal of providing an all-purpose mask that could be used for all branches of the military and for all purposes. Previous iterations of protective masks were designed for specific uses required by the different military branches.

"The new mask provides the (soldier) with improvements in nearly every single category over the older generations of masks: comfort, visibility, hydration, you name it," Project Manager for ECBC Engineering Bill Fritch said.

The company distributed more than 800,000 masks to members of the Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy and Army.

JSGPM is designed with a low profile that allows for the operation of weapons or equipment while it's worn. The mask also features an ergonomic design that increases visibility and reduces the need for maintenance.

"There are no formal plans to develop a new mask right now," Fritch said. "I expect this system to be out there for a long time."