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Common Pepper Spray

pepper spray scoville units

Scoville Rating
Common Pepper Spray : 2,000,000 SHU

Self-defense has become a must in the society of today. More and more people are educating themselves on various measures of self-defense. There has been an ever increasing influx of individuals enrolling in classes to learn to defend themselves. Along with this influx, there has been an increase in the sales of common pepper spray. It is a non-lethal effective weapon against an attacker, whether human or animal. Dispersing this spray into the face of a predator will render them incapacitated in a few short seconds. Pepper spray is legal and can be purchased in many retail and specialty shops nationwide. Most sprays come in canisters of various sizes. There are some smaller versions that are attached to a keychain for ease of carrying. With a minimal price range, the end result is well worth the investment in personal protection.

Spray Contents and Effects

Common pepper spray contains a chemical compound extracted from chili peppers. This compound is known as capsaicin. Capsaicin is rated at 2,000,000 SHU on the Scoville scale. The spray is considered an inflammatory material. Spray victims will immediately experience a burning sensation of the skin accompanied by redness and irritation. Their eyes will most likely automatically close and begin to redden and water. In some cases, temporary blindness may occur.  Inhalation of the spray will produce inflammation of the tissues of the lungs. This will result in uncontrollable coughing and gagging. Some may suffer with swelling of the bronchial tubes, which depletes the level of oxygen. This results in shortness of breath and smothering. Effects of being sprayed usually begin to subside with thirty minutes, but can last up to an hour.

Treating a Victim

Persons who have been pepper sprayed suffer a great deal. When attempting to treat a victim of the spray, it is useless to use water. Pepper spray is not soluble by water. Products with a high content of fat work well to relieve the burning sensation in the mouth and throat.  Experts recommend using one or more of the following products to remove the pepper spray from the skin:

  • Baby shampoo.
  • An antacid liquid medication.
  • Whole milk.
  • Over-the-counter topical lidocaine gel or cream.
  • Wipes available through pepper spray manufacturers made for this specific purpose.

Individuals should keep in mind that it is easy to transfer the spray to other areas of the body when rubbing the affected skin. Rubbing too hard will cause the product to go deeper into the skin making recovery time more lengthy.

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Image Credit: Marcus