CS gas
Overview
 
2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (also called o-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile) (chemical formula: C10H5ClN2) is the defining component of a "tear gas" commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent. "CS gas" is actually an aerosol
Aerosol
Technically, an aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in a gas. Examples are clouds, and air pollution such as smog and smoke. In general conversation, aerosol usually refers to an aerosol spray can or the output of such a can...

 of a volatile
Volatility (chemistry)
In chemistry and physics, volatility is the tendency of a substance to vaporize. Volatility is directly related to a substance's vapor pressure. At a given temperature, a substance with higher vapor pressure vaporizes more readily than a substance with a lower vapor pressure.The term is primarily...

 solvent
Solvent
A solvent is a liquid, solid, or gas that dissolves another solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution that is soluble in a certain volume of solvent at a specified temperature...

 (a substance that dissolves other active substances and that easily evaporates with it) and 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile, which is a solid compound at room temperature.
Encyclopedia
2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (also called o-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile) (chemical formula: C10H5ClN2) is the defining component of a "tear gas" commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent. "CS gas" is actually an aerosol
Aerosol
Technically, an aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in a gas. Examples are clouds, and air pollution such as smog and smoke. In general conversation, aerosol usually refers to an aerosol spray can or the output of such a can...

 of a volatile
Volatility (chemistry)
In chemistry and physics, volatility is the tendency of a substance to vaporize. Volatility is directly related to a substance's vapor pressure. At a given temperature, a substance with higher vapor pressure vaporizes more readily than a substance with a lower vapor pressure.The term is primarily...

 solvent
Solvent
A solvent is a liquid, solid, or gas that dissolves another solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution that is soluble in a certain volume of solvent at a specified temperature...

 (a substance that dissolves other active substances and that easily evaporates with it) and 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile, which is a solid compound at room temperature. CS gas is generally accepted as being non-lethal
Non-lethal force
Non-lethal weapons, also called less-lethal weapons, less-than-lethal weapons, non-deadly weapons, compliance weapons, or pain-inducing weapons are weapons intended to be less likely to kill a living target than are conventional weapons...

. It was discovered by two Americans, Ben Corson and Roger Stoughton, at Middlebury College
Middlebury College
Middlebury College is a private liberal arts college located in Middlebury, Vermont, USA. Founded in 1800, it is one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the United States. Drawing 2,400 undergraduates from all 50 United States and over 70 countries, Middlebury offers 44 majors in the arts,...

 in 1928, and the chemical's name is derived from the first letters of the scientists' surnames.

CS was developed and tested secretly at Porton Down
Porton Down
Porton Down is a United Kingdom government and military science park. It is situated slightly northeast of Porton near Salisbury in Wiltshire, England. To the northwest lies the MoD Boscombe Down test range facility which is operated by QinetiQ...

 in Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

, England, in the 1950s and 1960s. CS was used first on animals, then subsequently on British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 servicemen volunteers. Notably, CS has a limited effect on animals due to "under-developed tear-ducts and protection by fur".

Production

CS is synthesized
Chemical synthesis
In chemistry, chemical synthesis is purposeful execution of chemical reactions to get a product, or several products. This happens by physical and chemical manipulations usually involving one or more reactions...

 by the reaction of 2-chlorobenzaldehyde and malononitrile
Malononitrile
Malononitrile, also propanedinitrile, is a nitrile, with formula CH22. Malononitrile is relatively acidic, with an pKa of 11 in water...

 via the Knoevenagel condensation
Knoevenagel condensation
The Knoevenagel condensation reaction is an organic reaction named after Emil Knoevenagel. It is a modification of the Aldol condensation.A Knoevenagel condensation is a nucleophilic addition of an active hydrogen compound to a carbonyl group followed by a dehydration reaction in which a molecule...

:
ClC6H4CHO + H2C(CN)2
Malononitrile
Malononitrile, also propanedinitrile, is a nitrile, with formula CH22. Malononitrile is relatively acidic, with an pKa of 11 in water...

 → ClC6H4CHC(CN)2 + H2O


The reaction is catalysed with weak base like piperidine
Piperidine
Piperidine is an organic compound with the molecular formula 5NH. This heterocyclic amine consists of a six-membered ring containing five methylene units and one nitrogen atom...

 or pyridine
Pyridine
Pyridine is a basic heterocyclic organic compound with the chemical formula C5H5N. It is structurally related to benzene, with one C-H group replaced by a nitrogen atom...

. The production method has not changed since the substance was discovered by Corson and Stoughton. Other bases, solvent free methods and microwave
Microwave
Microwaves, a subset of radio waves, have wavelengths ranging from as long as one meter to as short as one millimeter, or equivalently, with frequencies between 300 MHz and 300 GHz. This broad definition includes both UHF and EHF , and various sources use different boundaries...

 promotion have been suggested to improve the production of the substance.

The physiological properties had been discovered already by the chemists first synthesising the compound in 1928:
"Physiological Properties. Certain of these dinitriles have the effect of sneeze and tear gases. They are harmless when wet but to handle the dry powder is disastrous."

Use as an aerosol

As 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile is a solid at room temperature, not a gas
Gas
Gas is one of the three classical states of matter . Near absolute zero, a substance exists as a solid. As heat is added to this substance it melts into a liquid at its melting point , boils into a gas at its boiling point, and if heated high enough would enter a plasma state in which the electrons...

, a variety of techniques have been used to make this solid usable as an aerosol
Aerosol
Technically, an aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in a gas. Examples are clouds, and air pollution such as smog and smoke. In general conversation, aerosol usually refers to an aerosol spray can or the output of such a can...

:
  • Melted and sprayed in the molten form.
  • Dissolved in organic solvent.
  • CS2 dry powder (CS2 is a silicon
    Silicon
    Silicon is a chemical element with the symbol Si and atomic number 14. A tetravalent metalloid, it is less reactive than its chemical analog carbon, the nonmetal directly above it in the periodic table, but more reactive than germanium, the metalloid directly below it in the table...

    ized, micro-pulverized form of CS).
  • CS from thermal grenades by generation of hot gases.


In the Waco Siege
Waco Siege
The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located east-northeast of Waco,...

, CS was dissolved in the organic solvent dichloromethane
Dichloromethane
Dichloromethane is an organic compound with the formula CH2Cl2. This colorless, volatile liquid with a moderately sweet aroma is widely used as a solvent. Although it is not miscible with water, it is miscible with many organic solvents...

 (also known as methylene chloride). The solution was dispersed as an aerosol
Aerosol
Technically, an aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in a gas. Examples are clouds, and air pollution such as smog and smoke. In general conversation, aerosol usually refers to an aerosol spray can or the output of such a can...

 via explosive force and when the highly volatile dichloromethane evaporated, CS crystals precipitated and formed a fine dispersion in the air.

Effects

Many types of tear gas and other riot control agents have been produced with effects ranging from mild tearing of the eyes to immediate vomiting
Nausea
Nausea , is a sensation of unease and discomfort in the upper stomach with an involuntary urge to vomit. It often, but not always, precedes vomiting...

 and prostration
Prostration
Prostration is the placement of the body in a reverentially or submissively prone position. Major world religions employ prostration either as a means of embodying reverence for a noble person, persons or doctrine, or as an act of submissiveness to a supreme being or beings...

. CN
CN gas
Phenacyl chloride is a substituted acetophenone. It is a useful building block in organic chemistry. Apart from that, it has been historically used as a riot control agent, where it is designated CN.-Preparation:...

 and CS are the most widely used and known, but around 15 different types of tear gas have been developed worldwide e.g. adamsite
Adamsite
Adamsite or DM is an organic compound; technically, an arsenical diphenylaminechlorarsine, that can be used as a riot control agent. DM belongs to the group of chemical warfare agents known as vomiting agents or sneeze gases...

 or bromoacetone
Bromoacetone
Bromoacetone is a chemical compound with the formula 3CCH2. This colorless liquid is a lachrymatory agent. It is a precursor to other organic compounds....

, CNB, and CNC. CS has become the most popular due to its strong effect and lack of toxicity in comparison with other similar chemical agents. The effect of CS on a person will depend on whether it is packaged as a solution or used as an aerosol
Aerosol
Technically, an aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in a gas. Examples are clouds, and air pollution such as smog and smoke. In general conversation, aerosol usually refers to an aerosol spray can or the output of such a can...

. The size of solution droplets and the size of the CS particulates after evaporation are factors determining its effect on the human body.

The chemical reacts with moisture on the skin and in the eyes, causing a burning sensation and the immediate forceful and uncontrollable shutting of the eyes. Effects usually include tears streaming from the eyes, profuse coughing, exceptional nasal discharge that is full of mucus, burning in the eyes, eyelids, nose and throat areas, disorientation, dizziness and restricted breathing. It will also burn the skin where sweaty and or sunburned. In highly concentrated doses it can also induce severe coughing and vomiting. Almost all of the immediate effects wear off within an hour (such as exceptional nasal discharge and profuse coughing), although the feeling of burning and highly irritated skin may persist for hours. Affected clothing will need to be washed several times or thrown away.

Toxicity

Although described as a non-lethal weapon for crowd control, many studies have raised doubts about this classification. As well as creating severe pulmonary damage, CS can also significantly damage the heart and liver.

On September 28, 2000, Prof. Dr. Uwe Heinrich released a study commissioned by John C. Danforth, of the United States Office of Special Counsel
United States Office of Special Counsel
The United States Office of Special Counsel is a permanent independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency whose basic legislative authority comes from three federal statutes, the Civil Service Reform Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act and the Hatch Act...

, to investigate the use of CS by the FBI at the Branch Davidians' Mount Carmel compound. He concluded that the lethality of CS used would have been determined mainly by two factors: whether gas masks were used and whether the occupants were trapped in a room. He suggests that if no gas masks were used and the occupants were trapped, then, "...there is a distinct possibility that this kind of CS exposure can significantly contribute to or even cause lethal effects."

Many reports have associated CS exposure with miscarriages. This is consistent with its reported clastogenic
Clastogenic
Clastogenic is an adjective that describes the ability of an agent or process to act as a clastogen—an agent or process giving rise to or inducing disruption or breakages of chromosomes.-Biology:...

 effect (abnormal chromosome change) on mammalian cells.

When CS is metabolized, cyanide
Cyanide
A cyanide is a chemical compound that contains the cyano group, -C≡N, which consists of a carbon atom triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom. Cyanides most commonly refer to salts of the anion CN−. Most cyanides are highly toxic....

 can be detected in human tissue. According to the United States Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, CS emits "very toxic fumes" when heated to decomposition, and at specified concentrations CS gas is an immediate danger to life and health. They also state that those exposed to CS gas should seek medical attention immediately.

In Israel, CS gas was reported to be the cause of death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah on December 31, 2010, although the Israel Defence Forces have questioned the veracity of the report.
In Egypt, CS gas was reported to be the cause of death of several protesters in Mohamed Mahmoud street near Tahrir
Tahrir
', تحرير ,التحرير, is a word of Arabic origin, meaning liberation.Uses of Tahrir include:*Tahrir al-Wasilah - a book authored by Ayatollah Khomeini*Tahrir Square - major public square in Cairo...

 square on November 2011 protests.

It has been noted that the solvent MiBK is itself harmful, and can cause inflammation, dermatitis, burns to the skin and liver damage.

Decontamination

CS contamination can be removed by washing with an alkaline solution of water and 5% sodium bisulfite
Sodium bisulfite
Sodium bisulfite is a chemical compound with the chemical formula NaHSO3. Sodium bisulfite is a food additive with E number E222. This salt of bisulfite can be prepared by bubbling sulfur dioxide in a solution of sodium carbonate in water...

.

Use

CS is used in spray form by many police forces as a temporary incapacitant and to subdue attackers or persons who are violently aggressive. Officers that are trained in the use and application of CS spray are routinely exposed to it as part of their training.

Recently, blank pistol cartridges carrying CS in powder form have been released to public. These, when fired in relatively close ranges, fully expose the target to the effects of CS, and are employed as a potent defensive weapon in regions where blank firing pistols are legally permitted for such use.

Although predominantly used by police it has also been used in criminal attacks in various countries.

Use of CS in war is prohibited under the terms of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention
Chemical Weapons Convention
The Chemical Weapons Convention is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. Its full name is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction...

, signed by most nations in 1993 with all but five other nations signing between the years of 1994 through 1997. The reasoning behind the prohibition is pragmatic: use of CS by one combatant could easily trigger retaliation with much more toxic chemical weapons such as nerve agent
Nerve agent
Nerve agents are a class of phosphorus-containing organic chemicals that disrupt the mechanism by which nerves transfer messages to organs...

s. Only five nations have not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention and are therefore unhindered by restrictions on the use of CS gas: Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

, Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

.

Domestic police use of CS is legal in many countries, however, as the Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits only military use.

Egypt

CS was widely used by Egypt's Police/Military Forces in November 2011. The CS gas used is imported from the US.

Cyprus

CS was first tested in the field by the British army in Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 in 1958. At this time it was known by the code name T792.

Iraq

Iraq successfully developed CS during the 1970s and during the 1980s produced tons of the substance firstly at Salman Pak
Salman Pak
Salman Pak is a city approximately 15 miles south of Baghdad near a peninsula formed by a broad eastward bend of the Tigris River. It is named after Salman the Persian, a companion of Muhammad who is buried there....

 and later at al-Muthanna. Then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 ordered troops to use nerve agents against Iraqi Kurds in his own country and against Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 during the Iran–Iraq War. It is believed that Iraqi forces used multiple chemical agents during the attack, including mustard gas and the nerve agent
Nerve agent
Nerve agents are a class of phosphorus-containing organic chemicals that disrupt the mechanism by which nerves transfer messages to organs...

s sarin
Sarin
Sarin, or GB, is an organophosphorus compound with the formula [2CHO]CH3PF. It is a colorless, odorless liquid, which is used as a chemical weapon. It has been classified as a weapon of mass destruction in UN Resolution 687...

, soman
Soman
Soman, or GD , is an extremely toxic chemical substance. It is a nerve agent, interfering with normal functioning of the mammalian nervous system by inhibiting the cholinesterase enzyme. As a chemical weapon, it is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations according to UN...

, tabun
Tabun (nerve agent)
Tabun or GA is an extremely toxic chemical substance. It is a clear, colorless, and tasteless liquid with a faint fruity odor. It is classified as a nerve agent because it fatally interferes with normal functioning of the mammalian nervous system...

 and VX
VX (nerve agent)
VX, IUPAC name O-ethyl S-[2-ethyl] methylphosphonothioate, is an extremely toxic substance whose only application is in chemical warfare as a nerve agent. As a chemical weapon, it is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations in UN Resolution 687...

; some sources have also pointed to the blood agent
Blood agent
A blood agent is a toxic chemical agent that affects the body by being absorbed into the blood. They are fast-acting, potentially lethal poisons that typically manifest at room temperature as volatile colorless gases with a faint odor. Blood agents are either cyanide- or...

 hydrogen cyanide.
Blackwater Worldwide
Blackwater Worldwide
Xe Services LLC, better known by its former names, Blackwater USA and Blackwater Worldwide, is a private military company founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark.. Xe is currently the largest of the U.S. State Department's three private security contractors...

, acting as an agent of the United States, deployed CS in the Iraq War from a helicopter hovering over a checkpoint in the Green Zone
Green Zone
The Green Zone is the most common name for the International Zone of Baghdad. It is a area of central Baghdad, Iraq, that was the governmental center of the Coalition Provisional Authority and remains the center of the international presence in the city...

 in Bagdhad.

Israel

Israel Police
Israel Police
The Israel Police is the civilian police force of Israel. As with most other police forces in the world, its duties include crime fighting, traffic control, maintaining public safety, and counter-terrorism...

 forces spray CS gas at riot control situations. It is widely used at demonstrations
Demonstration (people)
A demonstration or street protest is action by a mass group or collection of groups of people in favor of a political or other cause; it normally consists of walking in a mass march formation and either beginning with or meeting at a designated endpoint, or rally, to hear speakers.Actions such as...

 within the Palestinian Territories
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

 and at the Israeli West Bank barrier
Israeli West Bank barrier
The Israeli West Bank barrier is a separation barrier being constructed by the State of Israel along and within the West Bank. Upon completion, the barrier’s total length will be approximately...

.

Philippines

CS tear gas was used in suppression of the mutiny in Makati that was led by Sen. Antonio Trillanes. The tear gas was fired in the building and all the people in the building including reporters were affected.

Sri Lanka

The LTTE, also known as Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, an insurgent
Insurgency
An insurgency is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents...

 group in Sri Lanka used CS gas against government forces that were on an offensive to flush and defeat these insurgents during September 2008. Its use hindered the army's progress but ultimately proved ineffective in preventing the army from overrunning LTTE positions.

This is one of the first few cases of insurgents using CS gas as an insurgent weapon.

Northern Ireland

CS gas was used extensively in the Bogside
Bogside
The Bogside is a neighbourhood outside the city walls of Derry, Northern Ireland. The area has been a focus point for many of the events of The Troubles, from the Battle of the Bogside and Bloody Sunday in the 1960s and 1970s...

 area of Derry
Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 during the "Battle of the Bogside
Battle of the Bogside
The Battle of the Bogside was a very large communal riot that took place during 12–14 August 1969 in Derry, Northern Ireland. The fighting was between residents of the Bogside area and the Royal Ulster Constabulary .The rioting erupted after the RUC attempted to disperse Irish nationalists who...

", a two-day riot in August, 1969. A total of 1,091 canisters containing 12.5g of CS each, and 14 canisters containing 50g of CS each, were released in the densely populated residential area. On 30 August the Himsworth Inquiry was set up to investigate the medical effects of its use in Derry. Its conclusions, viewed in the political context of the time, still pointed towards the necessity of further testing of CS gas before being used as a riot control agent. During the rioting in Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

, the following year, known as the Falls Curfew
Falls Curfew
The Falls Curfew was a British Army operation during 3–5 July 1970 in an area along the Falls Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The operation started with a weapons search but quickly developed into rioting and gun battles between British soldiers and the Official Irish Republican Army...

, the Army fired up to 1,600 canisters into the densely populated Falls Road area. It was also used in Lenadoon on 9 July 1972 on the breakdown of the IRA ceasefire. Not long after, the British Army and RUC ceased using CS in Northern Ireland. Up to this point, it had been used in crowd control scenarios in Derry and Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

.

Great Britain

The first use of CS gas on the UK mainland, which was not part of military training, was carried out in 1944 during a hostage siege at a North London address. Soldiers were asked to throw CS grenades through the skylight in hope of bringing the incident to a speedy conclusion, however, the hostage-taker had brought his civilian-issue gas mask with him, negating the effect.

The siege of Trough Gate, in Oldham, during 1973 was the second use of CS gas on UK Mainland. It was applied to the rear of a van where the chief suspect was hiding. The suspect committed suicide with the handgun he was armed with.

The first use of CS tear gas to quell rioting in mainland Britain was in the Toxteth
Toxteth
Toxteth is an inner city area of Liverpool, England. Located to the south of the city, Toxteth is bordered by Liverpool City Centre, Dingle, Edge Hill, Wavertree and Aigburth.-Description:...

 area of Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 in 1981.

CS gas incapacitant sprays were first introduced into the British police in 1995, to assist them in dealing with violent incidents. The CS is in the form of a hand-held aerosol canister, with the solution being 5% CS, with methyl isobutyl ketone
Methyl isobutyl ketone
Methyl isobutyl ketone is the organic compound with the formula 2CHCH2CCH3. This colourless liquid, a ketone, is widely used as a solvent.-Production:...

 as the solvent, which is propelled by pressurized nitrogen
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

. The liquid stream is directed where the user points the canister, being accurate up to 4 metres. All forces dictate that for an officer to be authorised to carry CS, they have to have completed a training course in the spray's use. Under UK firearm law
Gun politics in the United Kingdom
Gun politics in the United Kingdom generally places its main considerations on how best to ensure public safety and how deaths involving firearms can most effectively be prevented. The United Kingdom has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world, and did so even before strict gun...

 CS and other incapacitant sprays are classed as prohibited weapons, making it unlawful for a member of the public to possess such an item. In recent years, some forces have stopped using CS, in favour of the new PAVA spray
PAVA spray
PAVA spray is dispensed from a hand-held canister in a liquid stream that contains a 0.3% solution of PAVA , a synthetic capsaicinoid, in a solvent of aqueous ethanol...

.

A six month trial by sixteen police forces in England began on the 1 March 1996. Only two weeks later, on 16 March 1996, a Gambian asylum seeker, Ibrahima Sey was taken to Ilford
Ilford
Ilford is a large cosmopolitan town in East London, England and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Redbridge. It is located northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan. It forms a significant commercial and retail...

 Police Station in east London. Whilst incapacitating the man, police sprayed him with CS and held him on the ground for over 15 minutes, and he subsequently died. Although a verdict of unlawful killing
Unlawful killing
In English law unlawful killing is a verdict that can be returned by an inquest in England and Wales when someone has been killed by one or several unknown persons. The verdict means that the killing was done without lawful excuse and in breach of criminal law. This includes murder, manslaughter,...

 was given by the jury at the end of the inquest into his death, no charges were brought against any member of the police force.

The police forces that do use the PIS in the UK require that the personnel undergoing training should themselves be sprayed with a 3% dissolved CS, during self-defense training, in order for them to be able to be authorized to carry it as personal protection equipment. They are also trained in helping the incapacitated person recover quickly once successfully restrained. Most forces currently issue CS spray to its officers, but there has been a recent move for a few forces to issue PAVA Spray (pelargonic acid vanillylamide aka nonivamide
Nonivamide
Nonivamide, also called pelargonic acid vanillylamide or PAVA, is an organic compound and a capsaicinoid. It is an amide of pelargonic acid and vanillyl amine. It is present in chili peppers, but is commonly manufactured synthetically...

).

The CS spray used by UK police is five times more concentrated than the spray used by American police forces (5% dissolved CS and 1% CS respectively).

In 1999 the UK mental health charity MIND called for a suspension in its use until it is fully tested and there is proof that CS is safe.

In February 2006, there were calls to have CS spray banned in the UK after Dan Ford, from Wareham in Dorset
Dorset
Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

, was permanently facially scarred after being sprayed in the face with a police CS canister. Mr Ford was subsequently advised by doctors to stay out of sunlight for at least 12 months. After the incident, his cousin, Donna Lewis, was quoted as saying, "To look at him, it was like looking at a melting man, with liquid oozing from his face." However, it has not yet been confirmed that Mr Ford's injury was a reaction to having been exposed to police CS spray, or whether an unrelated chemical exposure caused the injury. An investigation is ongoing.

In January 2011, CS was used by the Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan police
Metropolitan Police is a generic title for the municipal police force for a major metropolitan area, and it may be part of the official title of the force...

 at a UK Uncut
UK Uncut
UK Uncut is a United Kingdom-based protest group established in October 2010 to protest against tax avoidance in the UK and to raise awareness about cuts to public services. Various sources have described the group as left-wing in its political orientation...

 protest in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

.

The British Armed Forces
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

 use CS gas annually to test their CBRN
CBRN
CBRN is an initialism for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear. It is used to refer to situations in which any of these four hazards have presented themselves. The term CBRN is a replacement for the cold war term NBC , which had replaced the term ABC that was used in the fifties...

 equipment. During initial training they introduce recruits to CS gas by ordering them into a small enclosed space known as a Respirator Test Facility (RTF) and igniting chemical tablets to induce CS production. After recruits have carried out their CBRN
CBRN
CBRN is an initialism for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear. It is used to refer to situations in which any of these four hazards have presented themselves. The term CBRN is a replacement for the cold war term NBC , which had replaced the term ABC that was used in the fifties...

 drills, they must remove their respirators and inhale the CS to realise it effects and become confident their masks work.

United States

CS is used by many police forces within the United States. It was most famously used as one of a number of techniques by Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 law enforcement officials in the 1993 Waco Siege
Waco Siege
The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located east-northeast of Waco,...

.

Riot police in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the US Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States...

 in September, 2009 used CS gas and riot control
Riot control
Riot control refers to the measures used by police, military, or other security forces to control, disperse, and arrest civilians who are involved in a riot, demonstration, or protest. Law enforcement officers or soldiers have long used non-lethal weapons such as batons and whips to disperse crowds...

 techniques to disperse assemblies in the vicinity of the 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit
2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit
The 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh Summit was the third meeting of the G-20 heads of state in discussion of financial markets and the world economy.The G-20 is the premier forum for discussing, planning and monitoring international economiccooperation....

.

In Berkeley, California during the Bloody Thursday events in People's Park on Wednesday, May 21, 1969, a midday memorial was held for student James Rector, a non-protester shot to death by police, at Sproul Plaza on the University campus. In his honor, several thousand people peacefully assembled to listen to speakers remembering his life. Without warning, National Guard troops surrounded Sproul Plaza, donned their gas masks, and pointed their bayonets inward, while helicopters dropped CS gas directly on the trapped crowd. No escape was possible, and the gas caused acute respiratory distress, disorientation, temporary blindness and vomiting. Many people, including children and the elderly, were injured during the ensuing panic. The gas was so intense that breezes carried it into Cowell Memorial Hospital, endangering patients, interrupting operations and incapacitating nurses. Students at nearby Jefferson and Franklin elementary schools were also affected.

Members of the United States armed forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 are exposed to CS during initial training, and during training refresher courses or equipment maintenance exercises, using CS tablets that are melted on a hotplate. This is to demonstrate the importance of properly wearing a gas
Gas mask
A gas mask is a mask put on over the face to protect the wearer from inhaling airborne pollutants and toxic gases. The mask forms a sealed cover over the nose and mouth, but may also cover the eyes and other vulnerable soft tissues of the face. Some gas masks are also respirators, though the word...

 or protective mask, as the agent's presence quickly reveals an improper fit or seal of the mask's rubber gaskets against the face. Following exposure while wearing a mask, recruits are ordered to remove the masks and endure exposure in the room for one minute. These exercises also encourage confidence in the ability of the equipment to protect the wearer from such chemical attacks. Such an event is a requirement for graduation from United States Army Basic Training
United States Army Basic Training
United States Army Basic Training is the program of physical and mental training required in order for an individual to become a soldier in the United States Army, United States Army Reserve, or Army National Guard. It is carried out at several different Army posts around the United States...

, Air Force Basic Military Training, Navy Basic Training, and Marine Corps recruit training
United States Marine Corps Recruit Training
United States Marine Corps Recruit Training, commonly known as "boot camp", is a program of initial training that each recruit must successfully complete in order to join the United States Marine Corps...

. CS gas in the form of grenades is also used extensively in the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 in some service schools. CS gas is used during the final field exercise of the Scout Sniper Basic Course to simulate being compromised. In addition, it is used during the 25 km (15.5 mi) escape-and-evasion exercise ("Trail of Tears"), the last event before graduation from the course. It is also used during several events in the Marine Corps Basic Reconnaissance Course (BRC) including some rucksack runs and escape-and-evasion exercises. While students going through the course are given the opportunity to bring and wear a gas mask for the event, usually none are worn because once donned, gas masks could not be removed until the end of the exercise. This could last anywhere from 3–12 hours and would make running 25 km while wearing 125 lb (56.7 kg) of gear virtually impossible.

Vietnam

It has been reported that thousands of tons of CS gas were used by the U.S. forces in Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 to bring Viet Cong into the open. It was also used by the North Vietnamese forces in some battles like Hue in 1968 or during the Easter Offensive in 1972.

Elsewhere

CS gas has been and is still routinely used by Greek riot police (MAT) in order to quell student and labor protests, as well as riots by hooligans. In some cases gas had expired for more than thirty years. The legality and safety of the use of CS by policemen has been challenged both by people within Greece and the European Union.

CS was used to quell a protest in Lusaka
Lusaka
Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. It is located in the southern part of the central plateau, at an elevation of about 1,300 metres . It has a population of about 1.7 million . It is a commercial centre as well as the centre of government, and the four main highways of Zambia head...

, Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 in July 1997 and the 1999 WTO riots in Seattle. Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 reported that it had been manufactured by the UK company Pains-Wessex. Subsequently, Amnesty called for an export ban when the receiving regime is either not fully trained in the use of CS, or had shown usage "contrary to the manufacturer’s instructions".

In September 2000, the Guardian newspaper revealed how a UK company, HPP, used legal loopholes to export CS to a private security company in Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

, in breach of United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 sanctions. The Guardian also reported that CS was used by the Hutu
Hutu
The Hutu , or Abahutu, are a Central African people, living mainly in Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern DR Congo.-Population statistics:The Hutu are the largest of the three peoples in Burundi and Rwanda; according to the United States Central Intelligence Agency, 84% of Rwandans and 85% of Burundians...

 militia in Rwanda to flush Tutsi
Tutsi
The Tutsi , or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group in Central Africa. Historically they were often referred to as the Watussi or Watusi. They are the second largest caste in Rwanda and Burundi, the other two being the Hutu and the Twa ....

s out of buildings before hacking them to death.

CS has been used by the government in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

; by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 against Palestinians and Israelis; by the South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

n government in Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

, and during the Balkan conflicts by Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

. In Malta it was used by Police between 1981 and 1987 to the detriment of Nationalist Party Supporters.

CS tear gas was used at the G8 protests in Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 during the FTAA anti-globalization demonstrations during the Quebec City Summit of the Americas
Quebec City Summit of the Americas
The 3rd Summit of the Americas was a summit held in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, on April 20--22, 2001.This international meeting was a round of negotiations regarding a proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas...

.

The Canadian, Norwegian and Australian Armies train their soldiers with CS gas in a manner similar to that of the USA, as it is a basic part of CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) training. Gas is released by burning tablets, usually in a building reserved for this purpose (a "gas hut"). In the training, the person enters the building unprotected, and must fit and clear the gas mask before leaving. Other drills such as drinking and under-mask decontamination are also practiced. Some Norwegian units are exposed to CS-gas while engaged in physical activity such as push-ups.

See also

  • List of parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention
  • CN gas
    CN gas
    Phenacyl chloride is a substituted acetophenone. It is a useful building block in organic chemistry. Apart from that, it has been historically used as a riot control agent, where it is designated CN.-Preparation:...

  • CR gas
    CR gas
    CR gas or dibenzoxazepine, chemically dibenz[b,f][1,4]oxazepine, is an incapacitating agent and a lachrymatory agent. CR was developed by the British Ministry of Defence as a riot control agent in the late 1950s and early 1960s....

  • Pepper spray
    Pepper spray
    Pepper spray, also known as OC spray , OC gas, and capsicum spray, is a lachrymatory agent that is used in riot control, crowd control and personal self-defense, including defense against dogs and bears...

  • Chemical warfare
    Chemical warfare
    Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from Nuclear warfare and Biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military acronym for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical...

  • Chemical Weapons Convention
    Chemical Weapons Convention
    The Chemical Weapons Convention is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. Its full name is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction...

  • Hand grenade
    Hand grenade
    A hand grenade is any small bomb that can be thrown by hand. Hand grenades are classified into three categories, explosive grenades, chemical and gas grenades. Explosive grenades are the most commonly used in modern warfare, and are designed to detonate after impact or after a set amount of time...

    s
  • Police
    Police
    The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

  • Riot control agents


External links

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