Riot Control Gases

People are getting madder out there.
Sooner or later I’m guessing that it will lead to street protests.
Seeing as though the police play with CS gas and PAVA pepper spray, here is a few thoughts on protection and treatment if you get caught in a street protest and get accidentally gassed or sprayed.

If you are asthmatic or have any medical problem make sure everyone knows as you may need immediate medical assistance. 

I am not a medical professional. 
Seek professional advice BEFORE any exposure to noxious or chemical sprays. 
The following notes have been compiled from a number of Internet sources.
I’ve not tried any of the “neutralizers”.

What is CS Spray.
It is an aerosol made up of 0.5% solution of 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (CS) dissolved in methyl isobutyl ketone and propelled by pressurised nitrogen.
Range 4 meters.
The chemical reacts with moisture on the skin and in the eyes causing pain and difficulty breathing.

What is PAVA. aka Captor 1 or 2
PAVA contains a 0.3% solution of pelargonic acid vanillylamide (PAVA), a synthetic capsaicinoid, in a solvent of aqueous ethanol. The propellant is nitrogen.
Range 2 meters.
PAVA primarily affects the eyes, causing closure and severe pain.

Protection Before hand:-
As a basic PPE wear full sealed goggles (Swimming goggles) for eye protection.
If you are wearing contact lenses, take them out BEFORE a CS or PAVA Attack.
Cover up as much as possible, use a hat to protect your head.
Wear waterproof wear and nitrile gloves to prevent the chemicals landing on your skin.
Waterproof gaiters to protect your ankles.
Avoid using oils and lotions, they trap the chemicals onto your skin.
Use current issue military or police full face gas masks, or towels soaked with neutraliser.

Before hand make either of these neutralisers

Neutraliser 1-
A solution made up from water with 5% Baking Soda.

Neutraliser 2-
A solution made up from water and sodium metabisulphate (sold as Campden tablets used in home brewing). Note, This one has to be less than 1 day old to be effective

Neutraliser 3-
Carry vinegar / lemon juice soaked bandanna’s in seal able plastic bags –
Effective for short periods against breathing CS gas, or a small bottle of lemon juice / vinegar to apply at scene. Apple cider vinegar is best. It is not pleasant to breathe malt vinegar.

What to do when sprayed with CS Gas:-
Stand upwind of the attack, arms and legs wide, let the wind blow the CS gas off you.
Don’t rub your eyes.

Use one of the neutralisers and then flush your skin with COLD water.
ASAP, have a cold shower for 3-5 minutes.
Then shower normally to warm up.

1) Hot water opens the pores and lets the gas particles in.
2) Never have a bath as it helps the chemical contaminate you.

Don’t treat the sprayed skin with any cream, jelly or ointment.
The best treatments are air, cold water and time.

The alternative Police use to CS gas is PAVA (aka Captor)
This is a synthetic pepper spray.

For PAVA to work effectively it must enter the eyes so A GOOD pair of sealed swimming goggles is essential.
Wearing gloves, strip off contaminated clothing.
Expose yourself to loads of air.

As soon as you can open your eyes, remove any contact lenses
Regarding contact lenses.
Once contaminated, solid types may be cleansed (with great difficulty),
but Permeable ones should be destroyed.

After 1 hour, have a cool shower for 3-5 minutes
After that you can shower as normal.

With PAVA, the active ingredient remains dangerous for a long while.
It’s probably better to ditch all contaminated items.

Washing only revitalises the chemicals.


Liquid propellants (nitrogen) and dispersal agents (methyl isobutyl ketone or aqueous ethanol) may induce chemical burns. 

Do not burst blisters. Seek medical help.
As always, advice given by non medical personnel needs to be checked out before use.

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