Tear Gas and Pepper Spray

The regime uses chemical weapons to keep us under control. The regime wants to control how and when we move. They do not want us to be a large crowd. Tear gas (CS) and pepper spray (OC) are chemical weapons to control the crowd. Both cause pain to the eyes, nose, lungs. Short-term effects of tear gas and pepper spray are not very difficult to control, but some people may have health problems long-term.

Tear gas

  • Tear gas often in grenades. Police pulls "safety" pin and throws tear gas grenade, "detonator" ignites tear gas, and white smoke comes out. These grenades do not explode, but the can is hot! It burns skin!
  • When police open fire with shotguns that contain tear gas canisters, you hear gunshots. Listen to the gunshots and look at the sky. Tear gas makes a trail of white smoke. If will not hit you, no reason to move. Warn people: tear gas coming. Guess where it will land.
  • Some tear gas cans break open when the detonator ignites the gas. Tear gas comes out.

First Aid

  • Stay calm. Panic makes it worse. Breathe slowly. Calmly walk to fresh air. Remember the pain will pass.
  • Remove "contact lenses" or get someone to remove them for you, with clean fingers. Destroy "contact lenses," you can not clean them.
  • Flush eyes with 50/50 mix of "liquid antacid" (Maalox or Mylanta) mixed with water, or with water alone.
  • Blow nose. Clean mouth with water or "liquid antacid" mixed with water. Cough and spit.
  • Do not rub eyes.
  • Stand in fresh air, facing wind.
  • Help other people to stay calm, walk to fresh air, and remove "contact lenses."

See doctor if:

  • Asthma attack.
  • Rash, eye problems, other problems that do not go away. Effects of tear gas and pepper spray are supposed to go away in 30 minutes.
  • See doctor if health problems return, worsen, change.

Remove tear gas and pepper spray

  • Walk around around in fresh air or wind with arms lifted.
  • Remove clothing that has chemicals on it. Place clothing in sealed bag until you wash it or throw it away.
  • Take cool shower. Shower in coldest water you can stand (to keep your pores closed). Scrub with soap. Be careful not to get chemicals from hair into eyes.
  • Do not touch eyes, face, people, beds, sofas, carpets.

Protect yourself

  • Avoid oils and lotions. It traps chemicals against skin, which injures skin.
  • If you have asthma or other breathing problems, chemical weapons may cause severe attack. Carry "inhaler" (asthma medication) or avoid tear gas.
  • Do not wear "contact lenses." It traps chemicals against eyes, which injures eyes.
  • If you get a warning (see police putting gas masks on), put on protective gear. Move away and upwind.
    • Cover skin with plastic, like cheap plastic rain jackets with hoods. Cloth holds the chemicals, which injures you.
    • Wear goggles with "shatter-proof" lenses (they do not break). A "respirator" or a wet mask over the nose and mouth helps protect you (A mask wet with lemon juice or vinegar protects from tear gas better than a mask wet with water). Some of the best masks are t-shirts. Put your head in a shirt and use the neck hole for your eyes. Tie the sleeves around the back of your head. Remember to wear a hat to protect your eyes.
    • Some people rub onions under eyes.
  • Remember, police try to surprise us. It is not always possible to stay away from tear gas and pepper spray.

Who should avoid?

Most healthy people do not have problems from tear gas or pepper spray more than 30 minutes, but some people have long-lasting or life-threatening problems. People with the health problems listed: be watchful; try to avoid tear gas and pepper spray.

  • Respiratory diseases such as asthma, emphysema.
  • Chronic health conditions or taking medications that weaken the immune system.
  • Skin and eye conditions.
  • Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
  • Nursing mothers risk passing chemicals on to their infant.
  • Anyone in a closed room.

Beware of physical barriers to breathing — people died from pepper spray who were tied and placed face-down.


See tear gas after-care.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License