What Is Tear Gas?

What’s Left Behind: Dealing with the Aftermath of Tear Gas

Though often controversial, tear gas is a common component used in law enforcement. When utilized within the confines of a home, tear gas can have significant long-lasting effects, ranging from irritating the skin and lungs, to damaging eye sight. Once the dust clears, inhabitants are often faced with the unenviable task of putting the pieces back together.

What Is Tear Gas?

Tear gas is a non-lethal chemical weapon used by law enforcement for the purposes of crowd control. Tear gas subdues a target by irritating the mucus membranes until tears are induced. It can also cause coughing and sneezing.  Targets will experience a loss of motor control, difficulty breathing, and possibly pain. Prolonged exposure can result in severe pain and long-term respiratory ailments; it may even cause blindness if left untreated.

Likely Scenarios Involving Tear Gas

While tear gas is commonly used to disperse large crowds during riots, it may also be used in a private residence. In this scenario, tear gas is typically employed during police stand-offs or hostage situations in place of weaponry. The idea is that tear gas will drive an assailant out of a home without causing grave or long-lasting injury to any innocent bystanders or victims.

Proper Cleaning and Disposal

When dealing with tear gas cleanup, professional assistance is an efficient, cost-effective solution. Personnel should arrive with suitable personal protection equipment (PPE).  This includes respirators, as well as appropriate biohazard suits. This will help protect them from exposure as they clean and sanitize your home. The cleanup process may involve:

  • Carpets/Floors  A high-powered vacuum with a HEPA filter is a must-have tool when cleaning a site contaminated with tear gas. The chemical components of tear gas are made up of tiny particles, which means they can easily disperse into many areas of a home. As a result, thoroughly vacuuming the entire affected area must be the first step.  Traditional household vacuums may recycle the air, reintroducing the chemicals back into the environment.
  • Furniture – Cleaning furniture contaminated with the remnants of tear gas requires certain solvents in order to be truly effective. These solvents must be applied in a prescribed manner and the appropriate curing time followed in order to render a home completely free of any caustic chemicals.
  • Deodorizers – Due to the harsh odor of both tear gas chemicals and necessary cleaning agents, a strong deodorizer may be required after cleaning. This will remove any vestiges of unpleasant odors within a home, thereby making it suitable for living again.

Compassionate, Professional Service

Crime can have a lasting impact on all involved. This is especially true when tear gas is utilized during a dangerous situation. Fortunately, Crime Scene Clean-Up can help reduce the damage caused by tear gas. Our services allow people get both their homes, and their lives, back on track.

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Crime Scene Clean-Up ("CSCU") is part of the Aftermath family of brands.

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