- Chemical Defense
- Why Carry Pepper Spray (OC) Rather than a Conventional Weapon?
- What is Oleoresin Capsicum (OC)?
- Page 7
- Page 8
- Page 9
- Page 10
- Other Effects of Pepper Spray Usage
- Problems with Pepper Spray
- Types of OC Spray Nozzles
- Is Pepper Spray Legal?
- Where Can I Carry Pepper Spray?
- What is my Legal Liability with Pepper Spray?
- How Often Should I Replace My Canister of Pepper Spray?
- Are the Pocket Size or Key Ring Sprays Effective?
- What about a Ultraviolet (UV) dye in pepper spray?
- Get Proper Training
- All Pages
Effects of Pepper Spray
The capsaicinoid content of extracts used in pepper sprays varies widely among manufacturers, from 1.2% to 12.6%. Since the concentration of extract used in pepper sprays also varies (5-15%), the potential effects associated with capsaicinoid exposure may vary by as much as 30-fold among different brands of OC sprays.
Exposure to OC spray may occur through skin or eye contact, or inhalation. Once inhaled, it can be expectorated or ingested. With acute exposure, there is rapid onset of symptoms including burning, nausea, fear, and disorientation.
Exposure of skin to OC spray causes tingling, intense burning pain, swelling, redness, and occasionally, blistering. Multiple exposures of skin or mucous membranes over a period of seconds or minutes exaggerate the response. Capsaicin augments allergic sensitization and worsens allergic dermatitis. Exposure may diminish sensitivity to heat or chemical-induced pain, thus increasing the risk and severity of skin burns. Capsaicin powerfully stimulates heat receptors, causing reflex sweating and activates hypothalamus-mediated cooling; this dual effect increases the risk of hypothermia if victims are decontaminated with cold water on cold days.