What riot control agents are
- Riot control agents (sometimes referred to as “tear gas”) are chemical compounds that temporarily make people unable to function by causing irritation to the eyes, mouth, throat, lungs, and skin.
- Several different compounds are considered to be riot control agents. The most common compounds are known as chloroacetophenone (CN) and chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile (CS). Other examples include chloropicrin (PS), which is also used as a fumigant (that is, a substance that uses fumes to disinfect an area); bromobenzylcyanide (CA); dibenzoxazepine (CR); and combinations of various agents.
Where riot control agents are found and how they are used
- Riot control agents are used by law enforcement officials for crowd control and by individuals and the general public for personal protection (for example, pepper spray).
- CS is also used in military settings to test the speed and ability of military personnel to use their gas masks.
How you could be exposed to riot control agents
- Because they are liquids or solids (for example, powder), riot control agents such as CN and CS could be released in the air as fine droplets or particles.
- If agents are released into the air, people could be exposed to them through skin contact, eye contact, or breathing.