I was recently contacted through this site regarding the danger of asbestos fibres in second world war gas masks (respirators). Civilian respirators were manufactured using chrysotile in the filters while respirators for the armed forces contain crocidolite. I've been aware of this danger for some time but it's worth reiterating the fact: never wear a gasmask, never open the filter and be aware that the carriers may also have asbestos fibres in them.
It's also worth reading this article entitled "WWII Gas Mask with Asbestos Filter in Schools".
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