Understanding the making, use and effects of Tear Gas

Kids at Lab

Kids at Lab (Image Credit – http://www.asiapacific.basf.com)

The scenes of police using the bomb of gas to disperse the large gathering of the crowd from a particular place is very commonly observed and seen on television; the material they use to protect them and disperse the crowd is called Tear Gas.

It is an effective medium to keep a check on people without hurting or harming them in a dangerous way.

This gas cause irritation in the eyes, muscles, nose and senses and people who come in contact with this gas starts coughing, crying and sneezing. The use of this gas is usually used by armed forces or military and it was designed and developed for war purposes; first time it came into effect was in 1914, when it was used by the police to suppress the growing threat of crowd.

How does it work?

Tear Gas includes OC, CS, CR and CN. Of which CS is more effective and powerful than others, the gas bomb that is used by law enforcement officers generally contains a good volume of CS. This gas is piped into a cylinder type of an object; and most of the times it is fired in the air from a shotgun, the bomb when hits the ground releases chemical gases that immediately catches the eyes and cause irritation to make people react to its effects.

These bombs are banned in many countries and only the armed forces and people in the police has the right to use them and to in a situation which demands its use. Their officers using these gases have to obtain special permission from their seniors to use it in public.

The different kinds of Tear gas

The tear gases are found in three different categories namely;

  • Chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile (CS): This is the tear gas that most people are aware of as they are used more openly by the armed and police forces, they are stronger in their use and more effective in its effect. They are banned in many countries for the use of public and are handled very carefully.
  • Chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile (CN): Another type of tear gas, which is prohibited for public use and it is also used by police and armed officials only, its effect is same as that of CS and is used for the same kind of purpose.
  • Pepper spray: Now this is the most common gas that is available to the public for safety use. In most countries, girls are encouraged to keep these sprays in their pockets, this spray can be effectively used to cause irritation in the eyes. This spray has to be used directly by the person and to cause a serious effect it has to be hit straight into the eyes of the person on whom the attack is intended.

The use of tear gas has been commonly used in almost every country, the main reason why this chemical weapon is preferred over other kinds of weapons is because it is more effective and doesn’t cause any harmful or life threatening effect on the person.

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