How Do You Clean up Tear Gas and Remove the Residue?

Removing tear gas residue is a complex and daunting task. The scene of a tear gas incident is often plagued by damaged walls, broken windows, stained carpet, and thick, harmful residue. Cleaning up this residue is a labor intensive process requiring the expertise of a professional to do the job correctly.

What is Tear Gas?

The term tear gas can be applied to several irritants, including:

  • Chlorobenzylidene malononitrile (CS)
  • Chloroacetophenone (CN)
  • Dibenzoxazepine (CR)
  • Oleoresin Capsicum (OC or pepper spray)

According to Medscape, “The sole purpose of irritants, also known as tear gas, riot control agents, and lachrymators, is to produce immediate discomfort and eye closure to render the victim incapable of fighting or resisting.” What many people do not realize is that the irritants in tear gas can linger long after the missile is fired and individuals flee the scene.

Tear gas residue can seep into furniture, carpet, and hardwood floors, and continue to irritate the mucous membranes of anyone residing in or visiting the property long after the incident. Therefore, it is imperative that all tear gas residue is neutralized and the home or property is restored to a safe and healthy condition.

Cleaning up Tear Gas

How do you clean up tear gas? With a mop and bucket? A damp towel? Using vinegar or bleach? The truth is, you should never attempt to clean up tear gas on your own. Why?

  • Tear gas cleaning requires the knowledge and equipment of trained professionals. A professional cleanup company has access to personal protective equipment (PPE), specialized cleaning agents, and the ability to determine whether or not a scene has been completely restored.
  • The harmful effects of tear gas residue can persist for months if not properly cleaned. No matter how clean you think a site is, tear gas can penetrate every corner, nook, and cranny, and can even be propelled through the HVAC system. Cleaning the tear gas residue that you can see is only half the battle.

Aftermath uses strict control procedures and state-of-the-art technology to carefully and thoroughly wash affected areas. A nationwide industry leader in biohazard, trauma, and tear gas cleaning, Aftermath is dedicated to maintaining the highest industry standards while providing professional and compassionate services to those we serve. Contact us day or night for more information.

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Sources:

http://www.cainstructor.com/Articles/Capsicum%20revised.pdf
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/833315-overview
http://www.aftermath.com/contact-24-7-365/

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