What Does Tear Gas Do to the Human Body?

Tear gas infiltrates the membranes of the eyes, mouth, nose and lungs to cause burning, shortness of breath, chest pain, skin irritation, excessive saliva and mucus and watery eyes. 

Tear gas is sometimes used by law enforcement personnel to subdue individuals involved in volatile circumstances, including riots, violent protests, and standoff situations. For those who have been a victim of tear gas or have had their home or business tear gassed, the results can be devastating.

What does tear gas do to the human body?

Once an individual has been tear gassed, their eyes, mouth, skin, and throat begin burning immediately, causing them to choke, cough, and temporarily lose their ability to see. Fortunately, these symptoms usually wear off within an hour of a victim escaping to open air.

What should I do if I have been tear gassed?

First, hold your breath, close your eyes, and get out of the affected area as quickly as possible. Once you make it to safety, thoroughly rinse your eyes, wash your hands with soap and cool water, take a shower using cold water (hot water can make the burning sensation worse), and change into clean clothes.

What does tear gas do to a building?

Tear gas missiles and pellets often break windows, penetrate walls, and leave behind a thick, dusty residue that is extremely hard to clean. Until this residue is thoroughly cleaned and the site is restored, a home or business is considered uninhabitable.

Are there different types of tear gas? 

There are a few different types of tear gas and each affects the body in a slightly different way. Tear gas and pepper spray are often used interchangeably but are actually quite different

woman crying

Cleaning up Tear Gas

Removing tear gas residue and restoring the affected areas is extremely hard work that requires the expertise of a professional. But remember – do your research! Hiring an inexperienced cleanup company to clean up tear gas can create more problems than it solves.

Using state of the art technology and control procedures, Aftermath delivers professional cleanup for your home or business, removes damaged walls, surface coverings, and floors, and carefully sanitizes affected areas to restore safety as quickly as possible. Our technicians are trained in complex crime scene cleanup involving trauma and tear gas, and routinely work with law enforcement professionals who refer our services. Contact an Aftermath representative today for more information.

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Sources

Facing Tear Gas: http://facingteargas.org/bp/36/what-tear-gas

Baltimore Sun: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1995-01-18/news/1995018074_1_tear-gas-gas-training-harford-county

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