Tear Gas. how to battle against it

Discussion in 'Iran' started by random, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. proffesional:
    Tear Gas & Medical info for Protesters

    my experience through it:

    always wear a mask, a friendly one
    if it is a gas mask, better,
    but it can be a cloth (not too large or too thick)
    with vinegar to cover your nose and mouth

    lemon works too, but for cleaning the skin and mucoses

    ammonia, soaked in a cotton works for quick clearing
    (one or two uses, nothing more. it evaporates quickly)

    tear gas is harmful for fetuses, heart disease and panic related illnesses

    do not:
    wear small and fit clothing (that makes you sweat)
    wear things that expose your skin to the gas
    carry contact lenses

    in case of long hair, use hat or scarf (gas permeates the hair, prolonging its effect)

    other things to remember
    -always stay calm
    -vinegar mask works when a low quantity of gas is present (avoid breathing that stuff)
    -stay away from the wind path
    -tear gas grenades can be returned to the owner (warning: can burn your hand)
    -tear gas grenades are sometimes fired to chest or legs
    -tear gas can be minimized when you burn something, quickly, near the cloud

    what else?
  2. xshhhhx Member

    the tear gas: what to expect.
    Breathing in tear gas, or getting it in your eyes, is not fun. This, obviously, is the whole point. But there are things you can do to mitigate the effectiveness of tear gas, and allow you to keep on fighting the good fight.

    The first thing to remember about tear gas is that it is primarily a fear weapon. Yes, the gas hurts. But the fear caused by tear gas grenades is a much more effective means of crowd dispersal than the gas itself. So rule number one is to calm down.

    Tear gas is most often delivered to its target in the form of grenades. These fit onto the end of gas guns and are fired with blank shotgun cartridges. So, when tear gas is being used you will hear gunshots. Don't worry: you're not being shot at.

    After you hear a shot, look up. The grenade will be arcing toward its destination trailing white smoke. If the grenade is not headed directly at you, there is no reason to move. So don't move just yet. Warn people that there is a grenade incoming, and figure out where it will land. If it is headed toward you, you may want to prepare to hold your breath by briefly hyperventilating.

    The grendade will explode. This usually happens while it is in the air, but not always. Again, this can be scary until you get used to it. After the explosion, a small gas emitter remains. It is metal and about the size of a hockey puck. It will be hissing and spewing out tear gas.

    The wind is your friend. Move upwind of the gas. This will blow the majority of the gas away from you. Do not panic. Do not run. Panic is precisely what the police are trying to create.

    If you have gloves and something to protect your face (which I'll talk about soon), you can pick up the gas emitter and lob it back at the police. This is a considerate thing to do to protect your fellow protesters. The emitter will be hot, so gloves are recommended. Remember, the police are thoroughly protected against gas; throwing it back at them is not a violent act.
    WARNING:picking up the gas emitter will ensure that your clothing is saturated with tear gas. This is extremely unpleasant and will require very thorough laundering with harsh detergent. Prevent contact between gassy clothes and your face, as the chemical agents are active even days later.
    WARNING:Do not pick up a grenade which has not exploded. You can be injured if/when it goes off in your hand. Some are, of course, duds. But it is not safe to assume that unexploded grenade at your feet is a dud.

    Assuming you don't have a gas mask (which is essential for prolonged operation in a tear-gassy environment), a bandanna or other cloth which has been soaked in vinegar or lemon juice will allow you to breathe long enough to escape the gas. Mask up! Cider vinegar is less harsh-smelling and is recommended. Breathing in vinegar is not pleasant, but compared to tear gas it's like fresh air. Unfortunately, the vinegar's protective effect does not last long (minutes), and your bandanna will be saturated with gas afterward. So bring several. Retying a gassy bandanna around your face is not a good idea. Make sure the bandanna fits tightly around your nose and mouth.
    You must wear goggles. Goggles which are air tight. It is one thing to have severe upper respiratory pain. It is another to have that and also have burning, watering eyes.

    Two important notes here: Firstly DO NOT wear contact lenses to any event where there is even a possibility of tear gas usage. The contacts will trap the gas against your eyes which, aside from being hideously painful, will eventually damage your cornea. Secondly, many places have, or have recently enacted, laws against wearing masks. In some southern states these laws were implemented to defeat the Ku Klux Klan; these days they're more likely specifically aimed at dissenters who don't wish to have their faces filed away by the FBI. So, be aware that wearing a gas mask or a bandanna may be, in itself, illegal. Yes, protecting yourself from police violence, even passively, can get you thrown in jail.

    My description of what tear gas feels like is this: it feels as if the inside of your head is being dissolved by acid. There is a burning pain and a liquefying feeling as mucous, tears and saliva all begin flowing.
    Spit, blow your nose, rinse out your mouth, gargle. If necessary, do an eyewash by squirting water across your eye from the inside to the outside with your head tilted to the side.
    WARNING: You should really get a brief training before you do this. Contact your local activist organization. Also, the eyewash procedure for pepper spray is different.

    Different people react differently to the gas. I've seen totally unprotected people go up against cops and gas for hours by sheer force of will. However, don't expect that you will be able to. You may be pleasantly surprised, though.

    Finally, diffuse tear gas lingers in the air for a long time. Expect eye, nose and throat irritation for several hours after tear gas has been used in an area, especially if the use of gas was extremely liberal (as in Quebec City).

    EDIT:How much your skin burns actually depends on how sweaty you are. Tear gas attacks anything that's wet - The neck, forehead, throat and behind the ears are places that are likely to hurt a lot, since they're often exposed and will be sweaty, especially if you're wearing a mask or hood.

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