What is tear gas and How does Tear Gas Work?

Tear gas is one of the few chemical compounds used to cause tears, pain, and sometimes temporary blindness. It's specifically designed to be used for self-defense and to disperse large groups of people. This is called Liquid-Solid. Although this is called a gas, in fact, they are not real gases. It is made by filling several cans of liquid or solid chemical compounds under high pressure.

How does tear gas work?

Here's how it works. After hitting it, it attacks the lacrimal glands in your body. Because of this reason lacrimal gland sends a signal to your brain that will stimulate nerves to produce the causes of eye pain, tears, and difficulty in breathing. When you chop an onion, when the lime juice is thrown into the eye, when you are exposed to the burning smoke of the wood, it's a bit similar to the above-mentioned effects of tear gas.

What is used for this tear gas?

Corson Stoughton is the most common chemical compound used in CS Gas but in addition.

  • Chloroacetophenone (Phenacyl chloride)
  • Dibenzoxazepine (CR Gas)
  • Oleoresin capsicum (OC)
  • Nonivamide (Pelargonic acid vanillylamide - PAVA)

Pepper spray: Pepper spray is not common but the above-mentioned CS GAS is the most common chemical for tear gas.

The main reason why CS Gas is used is because of its low toxicity. (Despite the protests, the protesters are also human beings.) One thing to keep in mind when talking about CS GAS is its founders. It was discovered in 1928 by Ben Corson and Roger Stoughton, two American scientists.

How can you escape being attacked like this?

This is very important for you who will go to the picket on the 3rd Sunday. Therefore, read and understand the following facts carefully. The best thing that can be done for this is to wear a gas mask. But if you find it difficult to find a gas mask, use swimming goggles. If you find it difficult, find a 5L or 7L water can and cut it to the size which fits your face and make it into a face mask.

Using Water Cans
Using Goggles

In addition, use a little bit tight and fit face mask. If you can't do that be sure to wear a scarf like a mask to your nose and mouth. But one more thing to keep in mind is to wear sleeveless, loose-fitting denim. That will minimize the chances of these liquid gas sticking to the skin.

When this tear gas touches your skin, you will get inflammations on your skin. Thus keep a bottle of water or a small damp towel. Wash your hands using a water bottle or damp towel. so that they do not become inflamed when they touch the skin. Wipe face and hands thoroughly with this damp towel.

In addition to this, another easy thing you can do is to run as fast as you can as soon as you touch the tear gas or feel the inflammation. Then the sweat will come onto the surface of the skin. Those sweat around the area of inflammation will automatically wash away this tear gas inflammation and you will get some relief.

Although I mentioned several methods above, there is no certain method that will be followed by the Sri Lankan government. But the methods I have mentioned can be used against any of these methods.  There is no guarantee this will give you 100% security, but most likely this will give you some significant level of security.