4 Tips to Neutralize Tear Gas | Aftermath Services
You are probably familiar with some of the stories that have made the news in recent years regarding tear gas. Tear gas works by releasing an inhalant that infiltrates the mucous membranes. But what exactly is it? What is it made of?
What is Tear Gas Made of?
To start, tear gas is not actually a gas at all. In fact, the active chemicals found in tear gas – most commonly synthetic organic halogen compounds – are solid at room temperature. Common compounds found in tear gas include chlorobenzalmalononitrile (CS), chloroacetophenone (CN), both of which are known as mace.
Although tear gas is considered a non-lethal chemical weapon, the immediate effects can be damaging. Those who have been tear gassed often feel a burning sensation on their skin and face, experience difficulty breathing, and have a hard time seeing through the large cloud of gas.
Effects of Tear Gas
The purpose of tear gas is to temporarily incapacitate an individual by irritating the mucous membranes of the head. Chemicals in tear gas can cause the eyes to tear, the nose to run, and cause constricted breathing.
If You Have Been Exposed to Tear Gas:
- Get out of there! As quickly and calmly as you can, remove yourself from the tear gas-filled area.
- Face the wind. Fresh air will help blow excess tear gas powder off of you and will prevent it from blowing back into your mouth or eyes.
- Rinse your eyes with cold water. While rinsing your eyes from the inner to the outer corner, avoid allowing the contaminated water to run onto your skin or clothes.
- Rinse your clothing and body with cold water. DO NOT use hot water. Using hot water will open your pores and allow the chemicals to seep further in, resulting in even more skin irritation. DO NOT take a bath – as you will only soak yourself in the chemicals.
How to Get Tear Gas Out of Clothes
Tear gas can ruin your clothing, rendering clothing dirty and smelly after tear gas exposure. While it is recommended to dispose of affected clothing, you may be able to get most of the tear gas out of clothes by using the following steps.
- Wash clothing in cold or luke-warm water and detergent. Do not use hot water!
- Complete the washing process several times.
- Use gloves when handling the tear gas tainted
- Do not put the clothing in the dryer. Allow them to air-dry outside on a drying rack.
How Long Does Tear Gas Last in an Area After Released?
When tear gas is released outdoors, most of the gas should dissipate within a couple of hours. If tear gas was released indoors, the residue will remain until properly remediated. The harmful effects of tear gas residue can persist for months if not properly remediated. No matter how clean you think a site is, tear gas can penetrate every corner of a building and can be propelled through the HVAC system.
Neutralizing a Tear-Gassed Scene Should Be Left to Professionals
While the physical effects of tear gas exposure are temporary, the effects the gas has on the scene can be lasting if tear gas is not properly neutralized. Tear gas also leaves behind residue that can present serious health hazards if not properly treated, particularly within the confined spaces of a home or business.
Unfortunately, because of the complex nature of removing tear gas residue and implementing a neutralizer process, there is no such thing as an easy tear gas remediation job. The removal of tear gas is challenging, dangerous, and tedious. For your safety, tear gas cleanup is best left to professionals who possess the necessary equipment and specialized training.
The Negative Impact of Tear Gas to a Home or Business
Although the effects of tear gas on the body are usually temporary, the effects of tear gas to a home or property are not. Chemicals in tear gas can seep into and be retained in porous materials like furniture and fabric, canisters can also puncture drywall and ceilings, and can be spread through ventilation systems.
Aftermath Remediates Tear Gas
Aftermath Services understands the complexities of tear gas removal. Our certified technicians are extensively trained in complex situations involving tear gas. We know how to safely remove damaged walls, surface coverings, and floors to restore the property to a disinfected state. We care about making your home or business safe and livable again, which is why we provide rapid emergency response 24/7/365. No matter when you need us, we’ll be there to help. For more information on tear gas removal, contact us today.
Interested in learning more about tear gas exposure? Read, ‘What are Some Tear Gas Exposure Treatments?’