What is Tear Gas?
Tear gas also known as lachrymatory agent is a chemical compound which causes tears and pain in the eyes. The term tear gas refers to the immediate flow of tears that follows upon exposure. Used primarily as riot control by the police to disperse a crowd, tear gas can also be used as a personal protection agent to stray away a dangerous individual. It makes individuals temporarily unable to function. It can be released in various ways into the air as a mist, as a liquid or solid form. The three most common tear gas are sold as mace and they are Chloroacetophenone (CN), Chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile (CS) and Dibenzoxazepine (CR).
Effects of Tear Gas
This agent causes irritation to the eyes, mouth, throat, lungs and skin. Tear gas causes immediate burning and irritation to the area of contact. The extent of effects varies depending on the amount of exposure to the tear gas, and the amount of time exposed. The effects of tear gas are all temporary and short-lived however they are a hindrance to our daily life. When the eyes are exposed individuals experiences: excessive tearing, burning, blurred vision, and redness, nose exposure: runny nose, burning, and swelling, mouth exposure: burning, irritation, difficulty swallowing, and drooling, lungs exposure: chest tightness, coughing, choking sensation, wheezing and shortness of breath. These all go away after an hour in decontamination from the exposure.
How People are Exposed To Tear Gas
Tear gas is used by the police primarily as a riot control agent. During a riot or violent protest tear gas is sprayed into the crowd to disperse and maintain order. It can be released into the air either as a mist or particles. If the gas has been released through the air people can be exposed to the gas on the skin, eyes or via inhalation.
Cleaning Tear Gas
If not properly cleaned tear gas can continue to cause respiratory problems, eye, nose and mouth irritation, long after the initial clean up of tear gas was done. Without proper removal of tear gas reentry into the area is nearly impossible. That is why it is essential to get quality clean up of tear gas right away to avoid unnecessary health problems. Tear gas leaves pink or other colors of paint on the walls where the tear gas has ruptured the walls. When this occurs the drywall and all pieces of the device must be removed. In order to remove the tear gas one must use a HEPA vacuum system to eliminate the residue. Large amounts of water are used to take out the tear gas. Once all this has been finished the job is complete after the use of a ventilator and a deodorizer to remove bad odor.
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