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How Does Tear Gas Work?

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 Chemistry   |   Science
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Description

CS gas is one of the most common tear gases used in the United States today, but did you know its not actually a gas? We break down why it causes so much pain and the best ways to recover if youre hit with it. A reminder: were not doctors! Please contact yours with any concerns.

Additional resources below:
Regional poison control center: 1-800-222-1222
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Public Response Hotline (CDC)
800-CDC-INFO
888-232-6348 (TTY)
E-mail inquiries: cdcinfo@cdc.gov


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Credits:
Executive Producers:
George Zaidan
Hilary Hudson

Producers:
Andrew Sobey
Elaine Seward

Writer/Host:
Samantha Jones, PhD

Scientific consultants:
Kabrena Rodda, PhD
Sven-Eric Jordt, PhD
Brianne Raccor, PhD
Leilia Duman, PhD
Michelle Boucher, PhD

Sources:
Tear gas (CS)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK224932/#:~:text=It%20is%20currently%20used%20as,3%20will%20deter%20trained%20troops.

TRPs in Pain Sensation
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2017.00392/full

Breathtaking TRP Channels: TRPA1 and TRPV1 in Airway Chemosensation and Reflex Control
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19074743/

Cough: The Emerging Role of the TRPA1 Channel
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20091046/

How Tear Gas Works: A Rundown of the Chemicals Used on Crowds
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-tear-gas-works-a-rundown-of-the-chemicals-used-on-crowds/

Responding to Terrorism: Chapter 8 (Less-lethal weapons)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780080450438000088

O-chlorobenzylidene Malononitrile (CS Riot Control Agent) Associated Acute Respiratory Illnesses in a U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Cohort
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25003867/

Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 16.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK224932/#

What is Tear Gas?
https://theconversation.com/what-is-tear-gas-139958

Ultrastructure of Rat Lungs Following Exposure to O-Chlorobenzylidene Malononitrile (CS)
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1099387/

Tear Gas--Harassing Agent or Toxic Chemical Weapon?
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2501523/

Baby Shampoo to Relieve the Discomfort of Tear Gas and Pepper Spray Exposure: A Randomized Controlled Trial
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29560057/?from_term=tear+gas+exposure&from_pos=2

Tear gas: an epidemiological and mechanistic reassessment
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5096012/

Riot control agents: the tear gases CN, CS and OCa medical review
https://militaryhealth.bmj.com/content/161/2/94

Transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 antagonists block the noxious effects of toxic industrial isocyanates and tear gases
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2660642/

TRP Ion Channel Function in Sensory Transduction and Cellular Signaling Cascades.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK5237/

Sensory Detection and Responses to Toxic Gases Mechanisms, Health Effects, and Countermeasures
https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1513/pats.201001-004SM

Expression and Activity of TRPA1 and TRPV1 in the Intervertebral Disc: Association with Inflammation and Matrix Remodeling
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6480240/#:~:text=TRPA1%20is%20a%20calcium%20permeable,type%20%5B12%2C24%5D.

Transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) is functionally expressed in primary human osteoarthritic chondrocytes
https://arthritis-research.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13075-016-1080-4#:~:text=Transient%20receptor%20potential%20ankyrin%201%20(TRPA1)%20is%20a%20membrane%2D,in%20nociception%20and%20neurogenic%20inflammation.

2-Chlorobenzalmalononitrile
https://chem.nlm.nih.gov/chemidplus/rn/2698-41-1

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