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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

General

Q: Can I drink when wearing my respirator?
A: Yes, with the exception of Avon N10, SF10 and CTF12 mask variants, which are not fitted with drinking systems. Special canteen caps with Avon couplers are available that fit to standard water canteens. These allow fail safe connection to the integral hydration tube on the mask (a variety of caps are available for in-service canteens).

Q: Can I use detergents to clean the mask?
A: No, do not use detergent, spirit or solvent cleaner. Immerse the face mask in warm water containing a dilute Hibitane solution (1/2000 dilution of a 5% solution is normal), or a mild, baby-type, non-allergic soap solution. Rinse the mask in clean water and allow to air dry.

Q: What filter canister should I use with my respirator?
A: Always choose a filter canister suitable for the contaminant (s) known to be in the atmosphere or likely to be released into the atmosphere. When being used in a terrorist incident where there may be a threat from CBRN agents, the mask must be used in conjunction with a special CBRN filter canister that can remove the agents. In conventional non-CBRN situations, European legislation requires that the mask be used with CE type-approved canisters suitable for the application. In USA, only the filter canister that is NIOSH certified in conjunction with the mask may be used.Failure to choose a suitable canister may result in the face mask providing little or no protection against the contaminated atmosphere, leading to serious bodily injury or death.

Q: Can I wear glasses whilst wearing my Avon respirator?
A: You can only wear special prescription lens systems designed especially for the mask. You cannot wear spectacles with side arms, because you will break the protective face seal. With the C50/ FM50 and FM53 the Vision Correction System enables prescription lenses to be mounted inside the mask. Contact Avon for details on how to obtain prescription lenses for the Vision Correction Systems (Customer Services: +44(0) 1225 896705).With the FM12 and S10 a monocle frame is available which enables prescription lenses to be mounted inside the mask. Contact Avon for details on how to obtain prescription lenses for the Vision Correction Systems (Customer Services: +44(0) 1225 896705)

Q: How do I know whether I need a left handed or right handed mask?
A: If you are a right handed shooter you will need a right handed mask, this means that the filter canister is mounted on the left hand side.

Q: What is the purpose of the additional outserts for the 50 series respirators?
A:- A clear outsert assembly is available for general use. It enhances protection for the visor against scratches and impact from high velocity particles.- A sunlight outsert assembly is available for high UV situations.- A blueblocker outsert assembly is available for shooting glare.- A laser outsert assembly is available for protection from laser energy.

Q: How do I dispose of my Avon Respirator?
A: If the mask is exposed to chemical warfare agents, special decontamination and disposal procedures dictated by local establish guidelines must be followed. If the mask is contaminated with liquid chemical warfare agents, you are advised to dispose of the mask after decontamination.

Q: Can I use a second-hand Avon respirator that I buy in Military Equipment shops?
A: Avon does not condone people buying and using second hand respirators. If you do, Avon takes no responsibility for the mask's performance whatsoever and you could be contravening the legislation governing the product. The S10 and FM12 respirators are UK restricted products and as such their use and application are controlled by The UK Government. They are CBRN military and law enforcement products. The use of respirators outside of military and law enforcement applications is controlled by European CE regulations in the EU and by NIOSH regulations in USA. Only the N10 and CBRN FM12 respirator variants are CE approved for civilian applications in Europe. All other variants are for military use only. Only the C50, FM12 and CBRN FM12 variants are NIOSH approved in the USA.The 50 series respirators are ITAR restricted products and as such their use and application are controlled by the US Department of Defence.

EH20 Emergency Hood

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Q: Can I use the EH20 emergency hood in a fire?
A: No, it is only designed to offer protection against a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear threat. In a fire you would need a mask which provides you with oxygen, or has a special filter that removes carbon monoxide, i.e. self contained breathing apparatus as worn by Fire fighters, or a special smoke hood.

Q: What does 'do not use in an oxygen deficient atmosphere' mean?
A: The EH20 is not designed to be used in an incident where there is limited or no oxygen e.g. a fire. We define oxygen deficient as being an atmosphere containing less than 19.5% oxygen. When you breathe wearing the hood, the EH20 filters work by drawing contaminated air through the filter which 'cleans' the air. If there is no oxygen in the air passing through the filter then you will asphyxiate.

Q: Can the EH20 emergency hood be re-used?
A. No, once opened the EH20 is designed to be a single use hood.

Q: .What level of protection do the filters provide?
A: The filters provide protection against all forms of particulate material, including biological agents up to the same level as a military gas mask. The protection against gases and vapours is limited to the most common terrorist threat agents, including nerve gas and mustard. The capacity of the gas filter is sufficient to allow you 20 minute of wear time.

Q: Can you wear the hood with long hair, a beard, glasses or contact lenses?
A: Yes you can wear it over all these; however a long beard covering the neck , or long hair that protrudes through the neck seal will compromise the seal and reduce protection.

Q: Does the EH20 come in various sizes?
A: No, the EH20 is a one size fits all hood. It is designed to fit neck sizes from 33cm – 50cm circumference.

FM12

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Q: How many sizes are the FM12 available?
A: There are three sizes available with a six buckle fit allowing quick donning:
Size 1 – Large
Size 2 – Medium
Size 3 – Small

Some FM12 variants have a twin-port configuration that allows the filter to be installed on either side of the mask.

Q: How do I make sure I have the right size of FM12?
A. Avon can provide you with a sizing tool which helps to assign the right size of mask. Also, as a rule of thumb, your eyes should be at, or just above, the centre line of the eye lenses. Wearers must always conduct a negative pressure fit check prior to use to make sure the mask will seal to the face. Also wearers are advised to conduct a quantitative fit test, at least annually, to confirm the correct face mask size has been selected. Only use a mask if a fit check is satisfactorily completed.

Q: Can glasses be worn with the FM12?
A: Yes: See answer given in the general section regarding spectacles.

Q: What is the shelf life of the FM12?
A: The FM12 mask has a 20 year shelf life based on the mask being correctly stored prior to use (instructions on storage are provided upon purchase). Once in use, components subject to ageing (especially valves) must be routinely replaced to maximise useful life. If any deterioration or damage is suspected to any component, replace immediately. See the user manual for component replacement intervals.

C50

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Q: How many sizes are the C50 available?
A: The face mask is available in three sizes, L (Large), M (Medium), S (Small).The C50 is also available in a Twin-port configuration that allows the filter to be installed on either side of the mask.

Q: How do I make sure I have the right size of C50?
A. Avon can provide you with a sizing tool which helps to assign the right size of mask. Also, as a rule of thumb, your eyes should be at, or just above, the centre line of the eye lens.Wearers must always conduct a negative pressure fit check prior to use to make sure the mask will seal to the face. Also wearers are advised to conduct a quantitative fit test, at least annually, to confirm the correct face mask size has been selected. Only use a mask if a fit check is satisfactorily completed.

Q: Can I drink whilst wearing the C50 respirator?
A: Yes. See answers regarding drinking in the general section. A high flow fail safe drinking device allows connection to either a canteen on bladder type hydration system.

Q: Can I use communications systems with the C50?
A: Some C50 face mask variants have a communications pass-through to attach a voice projection unit (VPU) and other radio electronic communications systems which use an internal microphone. Radio communications systems may vary between users. Contact Avon for details of compatible microphones.

Q: What is the shelf life of the C50 respirator?
A: The self life of a C50 mask remaining sealed in its original unopened packaging, correctly stored, is twenty years. Once opened and in use, mask components subject to ageing (especially valves) must be routinely replaced to maximise useful life. If any deterioration or damage is suspected to any component, replace immediately. See the user manual for component replacement intervals.

FM53

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Q: How many sizes is the FM53 respirator available?

A: The FM53 is available in four sizes with either a left or right filter mount; Extra Small (XS), Small (S), Medium (M) or Large (L). The FM53 is also available in a Twin-port configuration that allows the filter to be installed on either side of the mask.

Q: How do I make sure I have the right size of FM53?
A. Avon can provide you with a sizing tool which helps to assign the right size of mask. Also, as a rule of thumb, your eyes should be at, or just above, the centre line of the eye lens.Wearers must always conduct a negative pressure fit check prior to use to make sure the mask will seal to the face. Also wearers are advised to conduct a quantitative fit test, at least annually, to confirm the correct face mask size has been selected. Only use a mask if a fit check is satisfactorily completed.

Q: What attachments are available for the FM53?
A: Filter, SCBA and PAPR (powered air) attachments are available. The twin port variant allows for a mask to be mounted with a filter while operating in SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) or Powered Air Purifying Respirator mode.

S10

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Q: How many sizes are the S10 available?
A: There are three sizes available with a six buckle fit allowing quick donning:
Size 1 – Large
Size 2 – Medium
Size 3 – Small
Size 4 – Extra Small

Q: How do I make sure I have the right size of S10?
A. Avon can provide you with a sizing tool which helps to assign the right size of mask. Also, as a rule of thumb, your eyes should be at, or just above, the centre line of the eye lenses.Wearers must always conduct a negative pressure fit check prior to use to make sure the mask will seal to the face. Also wearers are advised to conduct a quantitative fit test, at least annually, to confirm the correct face mask size has been selected. Only use a mask if a fit check is satisfactorily completed.

Q: Can glasses be worn with the S10?
A: Yes: See answer given in the general section regarding spectacles.

Q: What is the shelf life of the S10?
A: The S10 mask has a 20 year shelf life based on the mask being correctly stored prior to use (instructions on storage are provided upon purchase). Once in use, components subject to ageing (especially valves) must be routinely replaced to maximise useful life. If any deterioration or damage is suspected to any component, replace immediately. See the user manual for component replacement intervals.

Q: Are the filters from old S10 respirators hazardous?
A: The activated charcoal in old S10 respirator canisters, designated L12A1, is impregnated with Chromium, which is a known carcinogen. Fortunately the charcoal is fully contained inside the plastic canister body and presents no hazard if the canister is intact. Seek the advice of local Health and Safety officials regarding disposal of old or used canisters