Pepper spray indications, side effects and prevention

Pepper spray is a type of aerosol spray that contains a lachrymatory agent (e.g., orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile or oleoresin capsicum) and either a pyrotechnic propellant (e.g., nitrogen gas, carbon dioxide, or Freon) or an explosive propellant (e.g., nitroglycerin).

The lachrymatory agent causes the eyes to close and makes it difficult for those sprayed to breathe. The spray causes immediate tearing, a burning sensation in the eyes and nose, runny nose, itching, and difficulty breathing. Continued exposure can lead to severe inflammation of the airways, which could restrict the ability of a person to breathe. It is often carried as one of the most effective self defense weapons. It is small, easy to carry and can cause some severe effects. Here is a detailed guide!

Elements of Pepper Spray

Spraying pepper on the eyes will stimulate them to produce tears, making it a lacrimatory. Pepper aerosols are commonly available for spraying. Oil known as oleoresin capsicum is the primary component of this spray. Chile peppers fall under the genus Capsicum, which yields this oil.

Capsaicin is the same chemical that provides chili peppers with their characteristic heat. There is a much higher concentration of capsaicin in this pepper spray compared to chili peppers. Moreover, the oil in capsicum oil is the main ingredient in bear spray, an aerosol that protects people from bears.

In most of these sprays, the capsaicin concentration is between 5-10%, and a higher concentration produces a longer-lasting effect. Police use of this spray against protesting civilians is controversial, especially when it is used against law enforcement agencies.

An Accurate Method of Using Spray

Pepper spray contains oleoresin capsicum, an essential oil found in a wide variety of hot peppers, including cayenne, red chili, and chili peppers. When you eat a hot pepper, you feel the spicy sensation caused by the compound capsaicin found in OC. Capsaicin has no odor, color, or taste, but it can cause blisters on your skin simply by ingesting one milligram of pure capsaicin.

An aerosol canister is typically used to dispense this spray. OC oil is usually mixed with a water-based or oil-based solution to make squirting easier. Additionally, a propellant is mixed into the solution so that it shoots outward, and finally the entire mix is pressed into the canister. 

Unlike other spray containers, aerosol canisters allow you to spray further and wider. Liquid spray comes in three commonly used spray patterns:

  • Fluid is ejected in a narrow stream. The solution is sprayed on a smaller area. However, it's harder to aim accurately.
  • The mist is sprayed with a fine liquid. Using this method, it is easier to hit the target's face and the spray covers a larger area.
  • Mists are similar to fog, but fogs spray further and higher than mists.

There is a button or trigger to release the spray, as well as a safety mechanism to help prevent accidents with most personal spray dispensers. They can dispense between one and 60 bursts of spray solution and are small enough for carrying in a pocket or a purse.

In spite of being able to be hidden in something as seemingly innocent as a lipstick tube, pepper spray can have very serious effects. Learn how spray harms a person's body when they are sprayed with it.

Differentiating Pepper Spray from Tear Gas

In addition to spray being a chemical, does it function as tear gas as well? The term "tear gas" is informal and misleading, because it's not a gas at all. As opposed to tear gas, irritants are weaponized to immobilize people.

A tear gas weapon is usually one with liquid aerosol droplets that disperse their irritant in the air (such as a gas canister), or is one with powder (such as a pepper ball). Specifically, tear gas is a gas that does not have foams, gels, or liquids like personal self-defense sprays.

2-Chlorobenzalmalononitrile (CS) and phenacyl chloride (CN) are typical irritants found in tear gas canisters. As compared with capsaicin (the traditional ingredient in pepper spray), CS and CN are chemicals discovered in a lab.

The spray may be a weaponized irritant, but even though the substance is found in chili peppers, it can still be delivered as an aerosol or powder. Therefore, tear gas is unquestionably referred to as spray.

Pepper spray

Spray’s Symptoms Most Observed

As a result of pepper spray getting into the eyes, a person will experience immediate closure of eyes, acute pain, and temporary blindness. They may also experience severe discomfort from a burning, bubbling sensation.
As a result of this spray, you can also expect to get the following effects:

  • Having a cough or wheezing
  • An inability to breathe properly or a feeling of shortness of breath
  • A burning sensation in the throat
  • Having chest pains
  • An infection of the nose
  • Trying to catch a breath
  • Stressed
  • Having difficulty speaking
  • Feeling dizzy
  • A state of unconsciousness
  • Contact with the skin can cause rashes or burns

An estimated 10% of people report corneal abrasions or scratches to their eyes. A scratch can occur when someone rubs their eyes, and such scratches are temporary. It's not uncommon for the symptoms to be self-limiting even though they can be painful. Within thirty minutes, they usually resolve on their own without medical intervention.

People with lung disorders are especially prone to coughing or shortness of breath. People suffering from asthma are especially susceptible to these conditions. Cyanosis, a bluish discoloration of the skin caused by inadequate blood flow and oxygen in rare cases, is caused by these sprays.

Serious Side Effects

In addition to the eye, skin, and respiratory injuries that may occur, serious exposure can also lead to serious complications.

If the person's symptoms persist for longer than 45 minutes, or if they request it, the Police Policy Studies Council recommends transporting the person to the hospital. The group recommends calling the emergency services if someone experiences any of the following symptoms after spray exposure:

  • Consciousness loss
  • Inability to breathe
  • Severe aches in the chest

Although there have been few reports of deaths caused by pepper spray in asthmatic people, several studies have implicated it in fatal outcomes.

Pepper Sprays: Do they Pose a Danger?

If you are sprayed with pepper in the face, the immediate effects include burning in your eyes, nose, mouth, and throat as well as temporarily blindness if your eyes swell shut. It may take some people days to recover from the effects if left untreated, but some say they feel better after an hour.

There are no dangers associated with OC pepper spray, according to the majority of studies. It has been reported that using this spray doesn't cause long-term vision problems and that eye exposure to OC is not harmful. The cornea may become sensitive to OC depending on how often one exposes themselves.

There is some evidence that people with a prior heart condition or an allergy to this spray may react more severely.

Pepper Spray: Women’s Safety Tool

It's easy to forget, in the era of sexual assault prevention classes, that self defense is always a good idea in addition to staying safe on your own. One way to increase your odds for a positive outcome when you find yourself in a risky or potentially dangerous situation is to carry spray at all times. 

The spray can be used as an intimidating weapon that can incapacitate an attacker and act as temporary "mace". This spray can also be worn as pocket or keychain-sized sprays so it's never out of arm's reach even when out at night or on vacation.

It is a small spray that combines the active ingredients of Capsaicin and Phosphorous. Capsaicin has a moderate to strong burning sensation when sprayed in the eyes or nose. 

The substance is also an irritant, causing a rash if the eyes are touched, and it can cause severe eye damage if it gets on a persons' skin. This is why spray should be used as a last resort and only when you absolutely need to defend yourself.

All in all, it is a fantastic weapon for self defense. It can prove extremely effective against the attackers. So, if you’re a woman, explore wholesale pepper spray and grab a few for you. Carry it in your handbag or pocket and ensure your safety. 

Getting Rid of Spray Impacts

Even though this spray exposure does not immediately cure the symptoms, people can often reduce the intensity and duration of them by:

  • Whenever possible, move into a fresh air area
  • Washing the affected area with lots of water will remove the contaminants
  • Soap should not be used around the eye area because it is irritating
  • You should remove any clothing that may have been contaminated by the spray to prevent further contamination.
  • To keep the oil-based solution from spreading to other parts of the body, avoid touching the affected area.
  • By blinking rapidly the eyes, the chemical is removed

Many people use baby shampoo, milk, antacids, and lidocaine to remove spray from their skin. Despite their differences, these strategies were not found to be more effective than water in a comparison study. The use of wipes and saline solutions by emergency responders can alleviate the symptoms caused by spray exposure.