Tear gas, formally known as a lachrymator agent or lachrymator (from the Latin lacrima, meaning "tear"), sometimes colloquially known as mace,[NB 1] is a chemical weapon that causes severe eye and respiratory pain, skin irritation, bleeding, and even blindness. In the eye, it stimulates the nerves of the lacrimal gland to produce tears. Common lachrymators include pepper spray (OC gas), PAVA spray (nonivamide), CS gas, CR gas, CN gas (phenacyl chloride), bromoacetone, xylyl bromide, syn-propanethial-S-oxide (from onions), and Mace (a branded mixture), and household vinegar.
Lachrymatory agents are commonly used for riot control. Their use in warfare is prohibited by various international treaties.[NB 2] During World War I, increasingly toxic and deadly lachrymatory agents were used.
Tear "gas" consists of either aerosolized solid compounds or evaporated liquid compounds (bromoacetone or xylyl bromide), not gas. Tear gas works by irritating mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs, and causes crying, sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, pain in the eyes, and temporary blindness. With CS gas, symptoms of irritation typically appear after 20–60 seconds of exposure and commonly resolve within 30 minutes of leaving (or being removed from) the area. With pepper spray (also called "oleoresin capsicum", capsaicinoid or OC gas), the onset of symptoms, including loss of motor control, is almost immediate. There can be considerable variation in tolerance and response, according to the National Research Council (US) Committee on Toxicology.
The California Poison Control System analyzed 3,671 reports of pepper spray injuries between 2002 and 2011. Severe symptoms requiring medical evaluation were found in 6.8% of people, with the most severe injuries to the eyes (54%), respiratory system (32%) and skin (18%). The most severe injuries occurred in law enforcement training, intentionally incapacitating people, and law enforcement (whether of individuals or crowd control).
As with all non-lethal, or less-lethal weapons, there is some risk of serious permanent injury or death when tear gas is used. This includes risks from being hit by tear gas cartridges, which include severe bruising, loss of eyesight, skull fracture, and even death. A case of serious vascular injury from tear gas shells has also been reported from Iran, with high rates of associated nerve injury (44%) and amputation (17%), as well as instances of head injuries in young people.
While the medical consequences of the gases themselves are typically limited to minor skin inflammation, delayed complications are also possible: people with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, who are particularly at risk, are likely to need medical attention and may sometimes require hospitalization or even ventilation support. Skin exposure to CS may cause chemical burns or induce allergic contact dermatitis. When people are hit at close range or are severely exposed, eye injuries involving scarring of the cornea can lead to a permanent loss in visual acuity. Frequent or high levels of exposure carry increased risks of respiratory illness.
Reports of expired tear gas canisters picked up by protesters in Egypt led to theories that it could be more toxic, but Steve Wright of Leeds Metropolitan University said if enough time has elapsed that the chemicals have broken down inside the can, then it makes the canister less effective. However, a study carried out by Mónica Kräuter, a Venezuelan professor of Simón Bolívar University, collected thousands of tear gas canisters fired by Venezuelan authorities in 2014, showed that 72% of the tear gas used was expired and noted that expired tear gas "breaks down into cyanide oxide, phosgenes and nitrogens that are extremely dangerous".
Use of tear gas in warfare (as with all other chemical weapons,) is prohibited by various international treaties[NB 2] that most states have signed. Police and private self-defense use is not banned in the same manner. Armed forces can legally use tear gas for drills (practicing with gas masks) and for riot control. First used in 1914, xylyl bromide was a popular tearing agent since it was easily prepared.
Certain lachrymatory agents are often used by police to force compliance, most notably tear gas. In some countries (e.g., Finland, Australia, and the United States), another common substance is mace. The self-defense weapon form of mace is based on pepper spray, and comes in small spray cans, and versions including CS are manufactured for police use. Xylyl bromide, CN and CS are the oldest of these agents, and CS is the most widely used. CN has the most recorded toxicity. Tear gas exposure is a standard in Australia for military, police and prison officer training programs.
Typical manufacturer warnings on tear gas cartridges state "Danger: Do not fire directly at person(s). Severe injury or death may result." Such warnings are not necessarily respected, and in some countries, disrespecting these warnings is routine. Israeli soldiers have been documented by B'Tselem firing tear gas canisters at activists, some of which resulted in fatalities, though the Israel Defense Forces insist that they maintain a strict policy of only indirect firing. Amnesty International criticized the usage of tear gas by Venezuelan authorities noting canisters being fired directly at individuals, causing the death of at least one demonstrator, while also being shot into residential buildings.
However, tear gas guns do not have a manual setting to adjust the range of fire. The only way to adjust the projectile's range is to aim towards the ground at the correct angle. Incorrect aim will send the capsules away from the targets, causing risk for non-targets instead. For example, this occurred during the 2013 protests in Brazil, 2014 Hong Kong Protests, 2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests and both the 2014 and 2017 Venezuelan protests.
A variety of protective equipment may be used, including gas masks and respirators. In riot control situations, protesters sometimes use equipment (aside from simple rags or clothing over the mouth) such as swimming goggles and adapted water bottles.
Activists in the United States, the Czech Republic, Venezuela and Turkey have reported using antacid solutions such as Maalox diluted with water to repel effects of tear gas attacks with Venezuelan chemist Mónica Kräuter recommending the usage of diluted antacids as well as baking soda. There have also been reports of these antacids being helpful for tear gas, and for capsaicin-induced skin pain.
There is no specific antidote to common tear gases. Getting clear of gas and into fresh air is the first line of action. Removing contaminated clothing and avoiding shared use of contaminated towels could help reduce skin reactions. Immediate removal of contact lenses has also been recommended, as they can retain particles.
Once a person has been exposed, there are a variety of methods to remove as much chemical possible and relieve symptoms. The standard first aid for burning solutions in the eye is irrigation (spraying or flushing out) with water. There are reports that water may increase pain from CS gas, but the balance of limited evidence currently suggests water or saline are the best options. Some evidence suggests that Diphoterine solution, a first aid product for chemical splashes, may help with ocular burns or chemicals in the eye.
Bathing and washing the body vigorously with soap and water can remove particles that adhered to the skin while clothes, shoes and accessories that have come into contact with vapors must be washed well since all untreated particles can remain active for up to a week. Some advocate using fans or hair dryers to evaporate the spray, but this has not been shown to be better than washing out the eyes and it may spread contamination.
Anticholinergics can work like some Antihistamines as they reduce lacrymation and decrease salivation, acting as an antisialagogue, and for overall nose discomfort as they are used to treat allergic reactions in the nose (e.g., itching, runny nose, and sneezing)
Oral analgesics may help relieve eye pain.
Vinegar, petroleum jelly, milk and lemon juice solutions have also been used by activists. It is unclear how effective these remedies are. In particular, vinegar itself can burn the eyes and prolonged inhalation can also irritate the airways. Though vegetable oil and vinegar have also been reported as helping relieve burning caused by pepper spray, Kräuter does not suggest the usage of vinegar ("because it is also an acid"), or toothpaste, stating that it traps the particles emanating from the gas near the airways and make it more feasible to inhale. A small trial of baby shampoo for washing out the eyes did not show any benefit.
2014 Kurdish protests in Turkey refer to large-scale protests by Kurds in Turkey in autumn 2014, as a spillover of the crisis in Kobanî. Large pro-Kobanî demonstrations unfolded in Turkey, and quickly descended into violence between protesters and the Turkish police. Several military incidents between Turkish forces and PKK militants in south-eastern Turkey, resulting in several mortal casualties, contributed to the escalation. Protests then spread to various cities in Turkey. Protesters were met with tear gas and water cannons, and initially 12 people were killed. A total of 31 people were killed in subsequent protesting up to 14 October.2017 Venezuelan protests
The 2017 Venezuelan protests were a series of protests occurring throughout Venezuela. Protests began in January 2017 after the arrest of multiple opposition leaders and the cancellation of dialogue between the opposition and Nicolás Maduro's government.
As the tension continued, the 2017 Venezuelan constitutional crisis began in late March when the pro-Maduro Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) dissolved the opposition-led National Assembly, with the intensity of protests increasing greatly throughout Venezuela following the decision. As April arrived, the protests grew "into the most combative since a wave of unrest in 2014" resulting from the crisis with hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans protesting daily through the month and into May. After failing to prevent the July Constituent Assembly election, the opposition and protests largely lost momentum.CS gas
The compound 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (also called o-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile; chemical formula: C10H5ClN2), a cyanocarbon, is the defining component of a tear gas commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent. Exposure causes a burning sensation and tearing of the eyes to the extent that the subject cannot keep his or her eyes open, and a burning irritation of the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth and throat, resulting in profuse coughing, nasal mucus discharge, disorientation, and difficulty breathing, partially incapacitating the subject. CS gas is an aerosol of a volatile solvent (a substance that dissolves other active substances and that easily evaporates) and 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile, which is a solid compound at room temperature. CS gas is generally accepted as being non-lethal. It was first synthesized by two Americans, Ben Corson and Roger Stoughton, at Middlebury College in 1928, and the chemical's name is derived from the first letters of the scientists' surnames.CS was developed and tested secretly at Porton Down in Wiltshire, UK, in the 1950s and 1960s. CS was used first on animals, then subsequently on British Army servicemen volunteers. CS has less effect on animals due to "under-developed tear-ducts and protection by fur".Casualties of the Bahraini uprising of 2011 and its aftermath
As of 15 March 2013, the Bahraini uprising of 2011 and its aftermath resulted in 122 deaths. The number of injuries is hard to determine due to government clamp-down on hospitals and medical personnel. The last accurate estimate for injuries is back to 16 March 2011 and sits at about 2708. The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry concluded that many detainees were subjected to torture and other forms of physical and psychological abuse while in custody, five of whom returned dead bodies. The BICI report finds the government responsible for 20 deaths (November 2011). Opposition activists say that the current number is 88 including 43 who allegedly died as a result of excessive use of tear gas.Colt Defender Mark I
Colt Defender Mark I was an American 8-barrel shotgun intended for law enforcement or military use, completed in 1967.
The shotgun had a semi-automatic like fire without the complexity of being a semi-automatic weapon. Each barrel was chambered for the 20 gauge 3 inch magnum shell. The barrels were joined together around a central axis with a pistol grip double-action revolver mechanism and a second forward pistol grip for instinctive shooting. The shotgun was extremely simple to operate and very robust. The designer, Robert Hillberg, thoroughly tested the weapon before seeking out a manufacturer. The design proved to be so correct, that only a couple of minor changes were made for manufacturing. When Colt Industries was contacted, they showed considerable interest in producing the weapon, but before committing to full production they insisted on a market survey to see if there was an adequate market for the gun. Colt demonstrated the weapon to a number of departments, and all who saw it were impressed with its compactness, volume of fire and reliability. However, the national recession at that time did not allow any adoption of the weapon and by 1971 the project was over.
The weapon was composed of an aluminum alloy receiver with steel inserts and was covered in an epoxy paint finish. The final version of the weapon was available in 4 variants. The first variant was a simplified one, with no special features. The second variant incorporated a barrel selector on the rotating striker on the hammer. This allowed the shooter to select any one of the eight barrels. This meant that the weapon could be loaded with a variety of ammunition and the shooter could select the most appropriate round for the given situation. The third variant contained a receptacle for a canister of tear gas between the barrels. Pressing the trigger on the foregrip allowed the shooter to spray the target with tear gas, giving him a non-lethal option. The final, fourth variant had both the barrel selector and the tear gas canister.Crowd control in Jammu and Kashmir
Crowd control in Jammu and Kashmir is a public security practice in the Indian state to prevent and manage violent riots. It is enforced by police forces through laws preventing unlawful assembly, as well as using riot control agents such as tear gas, chili grenades, and pellet guns (riot shotguns that fire pellet cartridges).In 2010 India instituted the use of pellet guns to control protestors violently clashing with the police. The use of pellet cartridges was criticized by several NGOs due to the grievous and lethal injuries they cause. The government in 2016 formed a committee to look into alternative riot control agents. The army recommended to the committee that non-lethal weapons – including pepper guns, sonic cannons, and chili grenades – replace pellet guns. Based on the committee's report, the use of these alternative riot control agents were initiated against violent crowds. However, the Minister of Home Affairs clarified in 2017, that "if these measures prove to be ineffective in dispersing of rioters, use of pellet guns may be resorted to". In a 2018 report, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on both India and Pakistan to investigate the abuse of rights in the regions administered by them.
As a part of the graded response to violent protests, Indian police forces have used plastic bullets before pellet guns. The security forces have multiple options for enforcing crowd control such as tear smoke shells, PAVA shells, rubber bullets fired from gas guns, plastic bullets, and pellet guns before finally resorting to opening fire against stone pelting protestors during violent clashes.Death of Ali Jawad al-Sheikh
Ali Jawad al-Sheikh (Arabic: علي جواد الشيخ) was a 14-year-old Bahraini who died in the hospital on 31 August 2011 after reportedly being hit in the head by a tear gas canister shot by Bahraini security forces during the Bahraini uprising. The Bahraini government denied security force involvement in his death and offered a reward for information on the incident. Activists, however, began a series of large protests after his funeral.El Paraíso stampede
The El Paraíso stampede was a stampede of more than 500 people that occurred in the early-morning hours of 16 June 2018 at the El Paraíso Social Club, also known as Los Cotorros Club, in the El Paraíso urbanization in Caracas, Venezuela. The stampede was the result of a tear gas canister being detonated during a brawl among a group of students from different schools celebrating their proms. At least 19 people died, and according to official police reports, they were caused by asphyxia and polytrauma.Estadio Nacional disaster
The Estadio Nacional disaster of 24 May 1964 (also known as the Lima football disaster) is, to date, the worst disaster in association football history. It occurred during a game of Peru versus Argentina. During the match, there was an unpopular decision given by the referee. Outraged, the Peruvian fans decided to invade the pitch. Police retaliated by firing tear gas into the stadium crowd, causing a mass exodus. The deaths mainly occurred from people suffering from internal hemorrhaging or asphyxiation from the crushing against the steel shutters that led down to the street.Gezi Park protests
A wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Turkey began on 28 May 2013, initially to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park. The protests were sparked by outrage at the violent eviction of a sit-in at the park protesting the plan. Subsequently, supporting protests and strikes took place across Turkey, protesting a wide range of concerns at the core of which were issues of freedom of the press, of expression, assembly, and the government's encroachment on Turkey's secularism. With no centralised leadership beyond the small assembly that organized the original environmental protest, the protests have been compared to the Occupy movement and the May 1968 events. Social media played a key part in the protests, not least because much of the Turkish media downplayed the protests, particularly in the early stages. Three and a half million people (out of Turkey's population of 80 million) are estimated to have taken an active part in almost 5,000 demonstrations across Turkey connected with the original Gezi Park protest. Twenty-two people were killed and more than 8,000 were injured, many critically.The sit-in at Taksim Gezi Park was restored after police withdrew from Taksim Square on 1 June, and developed into a protest camp, with thousands of protesters in tents, organising a library, medical center, food distribution, and their own media. After the Gezi Park camp was cleared by riot police on 15 June, protesters began to meet in other parks all around Turkey and organised public forums to discuss ways forward for the protests. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan dismissed the protesters as "a few looters" on 2 June. Police suppressed the protests with tear gas and water cannons. In addition to the 11 deaths and over 8,000 injuries, more than 3,000 arrests were made. Excessive use of force by police and the overall absence of government dialogue with the protesters was criticized by some foreign countries and international organisations.The range of the protesters was described as being broad, encompassing both right- and left-wing individuals. Their complaints ranged from the original local environmental concerns to such issues as the authoritarianism of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, curbs on alcohol, a recent row about kissing in public, and the war in Syria. Protesters called themselves çapulcu (looters), reappropriating Erdoğan's insult for themselves (and coined the derivative "chapulling", given the meaning of "fighting for your rights"). Many users on Twitter also changed their screenname and used çapulcu instead. According to various analysts, the protests are the most challenging events for Erdoğan's ten-year term and the most significant nationwide disquiet in decades.Huế chemical attacks
The Huế chemical attacks occurred on 3 June 1963, when soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) poured liquid chemicals from tear gas grenades onto the heads of praying Buddhists in Huế, South Vietnam. The Buddhists were protesting against religious discrimination by the regime of the Roman Catholic President Ngô Đình Diệm. The attacks caused 67 people to be hospitalised for blistering of the skin and respiratory ailments.
The protests were part of the Buddhist crisis, during which the Buddhist majority in South Vietnam campaigned for religious equality after nine people were killed by government forces while defying a ban that prevented them from flying the Buddhist flag on Vesak. The incident prompted the United States to privately threaten to withdraw support for Diệm's government and when the Americans finally reduced aid a few months later, the army took it as a green light for a coup. An inquiry determined that the chemical used in the attack was a liquid component from old French tear gas grenades that had never functioned properly. The findings exonerated the ARVN soldiers from charges that they had used poison or mustard gas. The outcry over the attack had already forced Diệm to appoint a panel of three cabinet ministers to meet with Buddhist leaders for negotiations regarding religious equality. The talks led to the signing of the Joint Communique, but the policy changes it provided were not implemented and widespread protests continued, leading to the assassination of Diệm in a military coup.Kuğulu Park
Kuğulu Park (Swan Park) is a 1 ha (2.5 acres) public park in the Çankaya neighborhood of Ankara, Turkey. The park is known for its swans (a symbol of Ankara), but also has ducks and geese. Its pond was renovated in 2012.In June 2013 Kuğulu's waterfowl (35 birds) were evacuated temporarily to protect them from tear gas exposure during the 2013 Turkish protests. The park was a major meeting point for protestors, and saw a Taksim Gezi Park-style encampment.The City of Vienna gave the park a gift of swans.Protests against Faure Gnassingbé
Protests against Faure Gnassingbé have occurred throughout Togo, starting when President Faure Gnassingbé assumed power after the death of his father Gnassingbé Eyadéma in February 2005.
Opposition protesters have called on the Togolese government to establish presidential term limits according to the 1992 constitutional referendum, and have called on Gnassingbé to resign. Opposition parties contested the results of the 2010 and 2015 presidential elections. From 2012 until the 2013 Togolese parliamentary election, opposition supporters protested certain electoral reforms believed to favour the ruling regime. Starting in August 2017, the opposition has held anti-government protests on a near-weekly basis, leading to a longterm period of domestic instability.Riot control
Riot control refers to the measures used by police, military, or other security forces to control, disperse, and arrest people who are involved in a riot, demonstration, or protest. If a riot is spontaneous and irrational, actions which cause people to stop and think for a moment (e.g. loud noises or issuing instructions in a calm tone) can be enough to stop it. However, these methods usually fail when there is severe anger with a legitimate cause, or the riot was planned or organized. Law enforcement officers or military personnel have long used less lethal weapons such as batons and whips to disperse crowds and detain rioters. Since the 1980s, riot control officers have also used tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and electric tasers. In some cases, riot squads may also use Long Range Acoustic Devices, water cannons, armoured fighting vehicles, aerial surveillance, police dogs or mounted police on horses. Officers performing riot control typically wear protective equipment such as riot helmets, face visors, body armor (vests, neck protectors, knee pads, etc.), gas masks and riot shields. However, there are also cases where lethal weapons are used to violently suppress a protest or riot, as in the Boston Massacre, Haymarket Massacre, Banana Massacre, Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Kent State Massacre, Soweto Uprising, Mendiola Massacre, Bloody Sunday (1905) , Ponce massacre, Bloody Sunday (1972), Venezuelan Protest (2017), Tuticorin Massacre (2018).Ruben Salazar
Ruben Salazar (March 3, 1928 – August 29, 1970) was a civil rights activist and a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, the first Mexican-American journalist from mainstream media to cover the Chicano community.Salazar died during the National Chicano Moratorium March against the Vietnam War on August 29, 1970, in East Los Angeles, California. During the march, Salazar was struck by a tear-gas projectile fired by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy. No criminal charge was filed, but Salazar's family reached an out-of-court financial settlement with the county.Tear Gas (album)
Tear Gas is the fourth album by The Jacka consisting of 19 songs. It sold 5,800 copies in its first week of release, charting at #93 on the Billboard Top 200. This album had two singles, "Glamorous Lifestyle" with Andre Nickatina and "All Over Me" with Matt Blaque. An additional video was also made for the Freeway assisted track "They Dont Know". "All Over Me" featuring Matt Blaque peaked at #12 on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, making it both artists' only charting single to date.Tear Gas Squad
Tear Gas Squad is a 1940 American drama film directed by Terry O. Morse and starring Dennis Morgan, John Payne and Gloria Dickson. The film was made under the working title of State Cop. It includes the song I'm an Officer of the Law (M.K. Jerome, Jack Scholl).Xylyl bromide
Xylyl bromide, also known as methylbenzyl bromide or T-stoff ("Substance-T"), is any member or a mixture of organic chemical compounds with the molecular formula C6H4(CH3)(CH2Br). The mixture was formerly used as a tear gas. All members and the mixture are colourless liquids, although commercial or older samples appear yellowish.You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 3
You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 3 is a double disc live album by Frank Zappa, spanning from December 10, 1971 to December 23, 1984. It was released in 1989 (see 1989 in music).
"Sharleena" had been previously issued as a flexi disc in Guitar Player magazine. All the songs on disc one are by the 1984 band (except for brief segments of "Drowning Witch" edited in from the 1982 tour). Disc two includes performances from various years including a section of "King Kong" taken from the December 10, 1971 Rainbow Theatre concert, performed shortly before Zappa was pushed from the stage by an audience member. Zappa's liner notes state that after he played his solo the attack happened "moments later," but in his autobiography he wrote (consistent with the memories of other band members) that the incident took place after the band had finished its encore, a cover of the Beatles song "I Want to Hold Your Hand".The album contains performances of "Cocaine Decisions" and "Nig Biz" from a concert in Palermo, Italy on July 14, 1982. During "Cocaine Decisions", an audience riot began and police shot tear gas into the auditorium. A canister can be heard triggering near the stage, and between songs, Zappa and roadie Massimo Bassoli are heard attempting to calm the crowd down. Zappa was later reported stating, "We played for an hour and a half with tear-gas in our face and everything else, and when it was all over we went off stage and we were trapped inside this place."
See also: Receptor/signaling modulators • Ion channel modulators