JERUSALEM (Aug. 30)
Among the various creative enterprises that have started up in Israel ever since the country has been under threat of an Iraqi attack is one by an Orthodox kibbutz that is producing what could be considered a sort of disposable gas mask.
Kibbutz Chafetz Chaim, affiliated with Poalei Agudat Yisrael, manufactures various forms of saturated disposable tissues, like the American “Wash and Dry,” used for personal hygiene and other cleaning purposes. The trademark is “Bosmat.”
The kibbutz is now producing tissues saturated with a solution of sodium bicarbonate — baking soda — which offers some protection against some forms of poison gas in the absence of gas masks.
The kibbutz says each tissue, which comes individually wrapped in a hermetically sealed packet, has a “life” of 10 minutes and then must be replaced.
That means, the kibbutz explains, that if you keep a packet handy, you can feel confident you will come safely through a gas attack unscathed by keeping the tissues pressed to your face until the cloud of gas has dissipated or until you.