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Damaged rubber on gas masks

Article about: I have an original M59 (M1) YPA (JNA) gas mask, with the bag and technical sheet. It is still sealed in the original plastic packing. However, upon inspection, it seems the rubber developed

  1. #1

    Question Damaged rubber on gas masks

    I have an original M59 (M1) YPA (JNA) gas mask, with the bag and technical sheet.
    It is still sealed in the original plastic packing.
    However, upon inspection, it seems the rubber developed some damage. I do not know if it is chemical or what, but it looks like small "splotches" or "craters" (<1mm) deep.

    Is it maybe a chemical reaction due to the age of the mask? Unfortunately, I do not know how well the mask was stored during the decades.

    Also, fellow collectors, do you recommend opening the seal or keeping it as is?
    And what would you recommend for wiping dust and preserving the rubber on gas masks?

    Thank you!

    Damaged rubber on gas masks
    Damaged rubber on gas masksDamaged rubber on gas masksDamaged rubber on gas masks

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  3. #2


    Probably just poor moulding of the rubber when it was made. It doesn't look like damage... don't worry about it and leave 'as is.'
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  4. #3


    Like Steve said, it looks like moulding marks.
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.

    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  5. #4


    I agree, it looks like it came out of the mould like that. It's a manufacuring quality issue not deterioration of the rubber.

    If you don't open the pack then any treatment of the rubber is obviously not possible. If you do open the package then keeping the rubber dry and out of direct sunlight is the best way to store it. If you apply anything to it at all then you should restrict this to a light dusting of talcuum powder. Basic foot powder is good in that regard because it contains an anti-fungal agent which is an obvious benefit.

    This is most likely Silicone Rubber (contains silicone and silicon) which retains it's properties far longer than simple older types of rubber but like all rubber it will deteriorate over time and you can not prevent this.
    Having said that, I have a British S6 in my loft that is not wrapped up in any way and which has been there for for nearly 22 years (it was manufactured in the '80s) but is still perfectly fine.

    I hope this answers your question.


    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  6. #5


    I am in total agreement with the comments ,Best way forward would be to keep the mask sealed in my humble opinion RX
    Regards James

  7. #6


    Thank you all for the information you provided! I will store it as best I can and factory sealed.
    I was confused because I once had the same model gas mask (factory sealed), but the rubber melted inside the plastic bag and it was a mess. Probably some manufacturing error or a bad batch, but still...
    So I was wondering if this was the start of the same process or not.
    Also, is it true that some M2 masks (later, more modern version of this mask) had some issues of melting in good storage?

  8. #7


    Here is Former Yugoslavian M1 which was exported to Iraq ,high temperatures have affected the rubber compound which you can see on the valve cover ,i also had to use Talc on the inner face mask area because if bagged up folded away for storage and when i have inspected after a time i found the sides would literally be glued together ,so far the talc is working a treat Damaged rubber on gas masks
    Regards James

  9. #8


    Thank you! Thank you all!

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