Nifty, somewhat chilling short story by James D. Houston, describing the descent into total gridlock of a huge city.
(Very well done, much more interesting than my banal little description here.)
Copyright 1964, first printed I'm not sure where, reprinted in the 10th annual edition of The Year's Best S-F, edited by Judith Merril.

An airtight protection mask to be fitted over the face, usually made of rubber with plastic or glass windows for eyes, straps to make it stay on place, and a filter through which all breathing air goes.

The filters typically contain charcoal to neutralize some poisonous gases.

Used commonly by people who get exposed to poisonous/irritating gases in their jobs - most notably by soldiers.

Of course, gas masks in themselves are not enough of a protection in most cases. They are often very effective against "irritating" gases (like tear gases), but not much for anything actually lethal (like nerve gases).

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