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X-Ray Spotlight on Composites to Build a Better Gas Mask

In research that could lead to better gas mask filters, Berkeley Lab scientists have been putting the X-ray spotlight on composite materials in respirators used by the military, police, and first responders. The scientists are learning about the effectiveness of current filters in protecting people from lethal compounds such as VX and sarin, and are also providing fundamental information that could lead to more advanced gas masks as well as protective gear for civilian applications. Studying how metal oxides interact with small organophosphates could be relevant beyond the gas masks used by the military and emergency responders. Applications could also include sensing technologies and, since less potent forms of organophosphates are widely used as pesticides and herbicides, the findings could help the agricultural industry.