Since ancient times the idea of chemical agents to disrupt and incapacitate attackers has existed. Over the past 60 years, chemical agents used in military and law enforcement has rapidly evolved. CN Tear Gas, CS Tear Gas & Oleoresin Capsicum are highlighted below.
CN Tear Gas (aka mace)
CN is a powerful lacrimator (tear-producing substance) & respiratory irritant. Common effects when exposed to CN include: uncontrollable tearing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, nausea & stinging sensation of the skin. It may also induce psychological effects such as panic & fear.
CN Tear Gas relies on pain compliance and is therefore, most effective on individuals who are coherent and have a normal pain threshold. Those who are intoxicated, mentally disturbed or extremely agitated generally are less affected by CN.
CS Tear Gas (Military Tear Gas)
In the 1960’s, the US Army replaced CN with CS Tear Gas. Officials believed CS was far less toxic and more effective than CN. CS, also a lacrimating irritant, immediately affects the mucous membranes, causing perfuse tearing, runny rose and persistent coughing/sneezing. Also accompanied with CS is nausea, tightness of chest and burning sensation of the skin along with fear & panic. Like CN, CS relies on pain compliance.
Oleoresin Capsicum (aka OC or Pepper Spray)
OC is a natural substance produced from concentrated red peppers. OC is an inflammatory agent and upon contact, the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose & throat will become inflamed & swollen. Furthermore, OC produces involuntary eye closure, loss of breathe sensation, nasal/sinus discharge & redness/burning sensation of the skin. Fear, panic & anxiety may also be accompanied.
Due to OC’s inflammatory principles, it is more effective than CN or CS on those who cannot not feel pain (emotionally disturbed, intoxicated, drugged and mentally ill individuals). OC’s inflammatory effects have also proven very effective against animals comparatively speaking. OC is actually the active ingredient in bear sprays.
In short , OC is an inflammatory agent and unlike CS & CN Tear Gas, OC does not require the attacker/subject to feel pain in order to be effective. OC’s inflammatory effects are more effective on those are who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, emotionally disturbed or goal oriented. Because of these reasons, law enforcement agencies worldwide trust & rely upon OC sprays.
Non law enforcement should also consider a defense spray which contains OC/Red Pepper (SABRE RED) or a blend of OC/Red Pepper with CS Tear Gas and Ultra Violet Marking Dye (SABRE Advanced 3-In-1 Formulation). The SABRE Advanced 3-In-1 Formulation is not legal in MI, NY & WI.