Monday, 27 February 2012

Capsaicin at Work: It Is Called Pepper Spray

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The recent student protestings have awakened our thoughts as to the benefits of using pepper spray in our society. And it should be brought out here that it is up to us to decide the moral value in its use by ourselves or by our law enforcement agencies. Authorization to apply it has been given by most law enforcement agencies in the United States and we can run around pepper spraying people if we need to. Why does Europe not sanction it: instead, in Finland the possession of pepper spray requires a license issued only for defensive purposes and in private security. Germany is the only one that will allow anyone, including minors, to own and carry pepper spray provided they are labeled "for the purpose of defense against animals", and pepper spray is not considered legal to use as a weapon..

Here is what it will do for you if you get sprayed, as instructed, by aiming at a person's eyes: Your eyes will water profusely by virtue of the irritation capsaicin causes to the tissues of the eyes. You may become temporarily blind for 15-30 minutes, and experience pain. Your eyes will close involuntarily, which may mean that you are unable to open your eyes at will for a period of time. Another effect is a sudden and instant feeling of restriction in your airways and an intense pain around your face, nose and throat. The strength of the spray affects the duration of the symptoms and the average full effect may last for about 30-45 minutes with lesser problems lasting for hours. The current canister model pepper spray for use by the general public has a capsaicin concentration of 1-10 percent..

Hopefully you will not have to endure multiple discharges of pepper spray because it can result in long- lasting changes in corneal sensitivity, and especially if you have been hit by a direct and focused stream of liquid known as the hydraulic needle effect.

People undergoing the aftermath of an exposure to pepper spray describe themselves as being set " alight" and feeling that their eyelids are "bubbling and boiling", also as fiery, painful and irritating".

There are not too many recourses to turn to here! Capsaicin is insoluble in water, which will not wash it away like many other chemical substances. Your own tears will stand as your defender, as they will come as you force yourself to blink repeatedly to rinse the irritant from your eyes. If the Emergency Department pulls out their Baby Shampoo, do not assume you are getting your hair shampooed: they use this to remove the residue from your hair and face, as much as they can without undue rubbing.

I do think the police ought to have the proper tools to subdue people who are causing harm to others in the public square. These tools should be wielded by officers who are committed to uphold the law and who can control their emotions.

I do not think the police should squirt pepper spray into the eyes of a crowd of innocent and orderly people. What are your thoughts on this subject?

Margaret Heaps is a native born Californian who sees life as not long enough to fit everything in. She has grass roots in Petaluma, California and Nicasio, California, where her great grandfather bought land from gold that he mined in the Gold Rush of 1848 and created a high yield dairy farm. With this background legacy, she married and raised six boys, went back to school and became a registered nurse; this was her profession for many years. Now that she has retired, her energy level still high, she built a brand new website, and an entertaining blog, Our products are well made, excellently priced and useful for today's needs: home gyms, jump ropes, pilates, exercise mats and balls, exercise bikes and many other things.

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