PDA

View Full Version : Anyone here ever been tear gassed?



Chris P
10-21-2013, 09:45 AM
I thought for sure I'd seen a thread here on this, but all my searches found nothing.

My MC is caught in a riot, and gets a good solid whiff of tear gas (from a canister, not a liquid like pepper spray). How does that feel? Does it burn the lungs like smoke, or do the airways feel constricted? Is there a lot of mucus in the coughing? For the eyes, is it like cutting peppers then rubbing your eyes where it hurts when you open them? Does it burn in the nose and mouth? I imagine it depends on how much of a dose you get, but how long do the effects last? Five minutes? What non-obvious effects does it have that would make the story seem more lifelike?

I'm sure I could jump around and act a fool and find out for myself, but I'll rely on your experiences :D

thothguard51
10-21-2013, 04:35 PM
Will depend on the environment the tear gas is released in and the concentration of the gas. Out doors, tear gas is not as effective as indoors, obviously.

Symptoms can range from runny eyes and nose, and your chest can feel congested making it hard to breath. The more closed the environment, the worse it gets. Some victims of tear gas have been know to vomit from the effects, even in mild conditions.

Everyone reacts differently. I've been exposed to tear gas outdoors as well as indoors and had not adverse reactions other than water eyes and runny nose. As soon as I got to fresh air, the problems went away.

robjvargas
10-21-2013, 04:48 PM
Most everyone here with US military experience has undergone *some* exposure to tear gas. It's an exercise in understanding chemical warfare as well as in the use of the gas masks. For me, in the Navy, it was a dose with 15 fellows in my boot camp company. They let it spread, had us remove our masks, then file out in orderly fashion with our masks held high over our head. If we panicked, we returned, masks still high, and repeated the exit.

Thankfully, no one in my group panicked. There's a burning in the eyes. Our noses got runny, but it was a light dose.

I can tell you one guy broke down in tears when he forgot to wash his hands before rubbing his eyes. If your MC digs it in like that, he's in for a very bad day. The guy I saw had red rings around his eyes for three days.

Steve Collins
10-21-2013, 05:39 PM
Been CS gassed in the police on many occassions all within a room. For me it's one of the worst things I've experienced. My nose and eyes were running, I was coughing my guts up, my lungs felt like they were seared and my throat constricted, I was lucky not to throw up. It did exactly what it said on the bottle!

Chris P
10-21-2013, 05:53 PM
Thanks everyone!


I can tell you one guy broke down in tears when he forgot to wash his hands before rubbing his eyes. If your MC digs it in like that, he's in for a very bad day. The guy I saw had red rings around his eyes for three days.

I hadn't thought of that. How would you wash it off? Is water enough, or do you need soap? How long do you think it would stay on your hands enough to irritate if he didn't have access to soapy water?

My MC is outside when he is gassed. The canister lands a few feet behind him, and he turns in time to get a snoot full before someone else lobs it back at the cops. So compared to what people in a room would experience, he didn't get a very large dose.

waylander
10-21-2013, 06:12 PM
The active ingredient of tear gas is not very water soluble, washing your hand with gasoline or something similar would be much more effective. Someone made a few grammes of this once and left it in a vacuum oven to dry, cleared the building when they opened the oven.

Snowstorm
10-21-2013, 06:20 PM
My military experience was similar to those earlier, so I won't repeat it. One thing I found interesting was well after the exercise and I had recovered. I was in my car, turned on the heater (it was chilly). The warm air must have reactivated the gas. It seemed to permeate the whole car. My eyes burned all the way home. If memory serves, the next morning when I got in my car I swear I could still smell.

Chris P
10-21-2013, 08:43 PM
Okay, so odor: what does it smell like? Just a general chemically smell, or does it remind you of anything? I've read that the nerve gases used in WWI smelled like lilacs, and I imagine pepper spray smells like pepper.

ironmikezero
10-21-2013, 08:54 PM
The main reason tear gas (CS) is so hard to get free of once you're exposed is that most delivery systems are disbursing the active ingredient 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile as a micro-powder in a suspension medium via an aerosol, controlled stream,or explosive device. Micro-powder is insidious in it's ability to get everywhere - especially where you don't want it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CS_gas

Copious amounts of soap & water will eventually provide relief. Dish washing detergent followed by multiple rinses is particularly effective.

Steve Collins
10-21-2013, 08:59 PM
It should be remembered that CS gas is not a gas per se it is an irritant. running water over the face will flush it away but don't scoop it up in your hands and rub it in. What Snowstorm said about the car is quite correct. we also told people when they went home don't shake their clothes or hug the kids, get your kit off and into the washing machine or you'll recycle it in the house. Albeit tto a lesser degree. it really is odorless and funnily enough doesn't really affect dogs or horses.

Full_Stop
10-27-2013, 08:53 PM
You could easily get familiar with how it feels on your own. Get a really ridiculously hot sauce and drink full TBLSPN of it, and rub some in your eyes and on your skin. That's pretty much how it feels.

I have a lot of the same experience as robjvargas with it as far as being required to get CS gassed for a qualification. It can really suck if you breathe enough of it or are exposed to it for a while.

Full_Stop
10-27-2013, 08:56 PM
Okay, so odor: what does it smell like? Just a general chemically smell, or does it remind you of anything? I've read that the nerve gases used in WWI smelled like lilacs, and I imagine pepper spray smells like pepper.

To me it kind of smelt like dried and powdered mustard or curry.

Yorkist
10-27-2013, 10:03 PM
My sister and I once walked through an area that had been recently gassed, so we got indirect effects, and we didn't make it to ground zero, kwim?

I do have one unique bit of insight - tear gas does not affect everyone equally. My sister felt it a good three blocks before I noticed anything. For her, the eyes and the nose were most effected. For me, my nose was affected a little, but it was mostly in the throat and mouth. Tasted nasty, too.

Another bit of insight. The reason my eyes were not affected? Probably because I wear contact lenses. Someone can blow smoke straight at my face and I wouldn't even blink.

So if you need your character to hurt but still see, give him (or her) myopia.

:)

GeorgeK
10-28-2013, 03:25 AM
My brother was gassed in the army as a training thing and said it was like suddenly the worst flu with the thickest mucus suddenly was trying to strangle you

WeaselFire
10-28-2013, 07:06 PM
I'm a vomiter. Uncontrollable, coughing, wheezing. Couldn't get enough crap out of my nose and lungs quick enough and lost my lunch. Liquid soap and water, plus immediate strip down and clothes washing fixed most of it. My eyes were red and itchy/burning for the rest of the day.

For me, pepper spray is more blinding and disorienting, with a lot less coughing and wheezing. Simple water rinse from a hose worked for that. My wife has asthma and pepper srpay will close her throat up and make it hard to breath, assuming direct contact. Hate to think what gas would do to her.

If it helps, getting tased made me collapse and almost poop my pants. :)

Jeff