HOW TO COMBAT THE EFFECTS OF TEAR GAS
By Michael Cruise
1. First…if you plan to attend any of the Occupy protests and are a contact lens wearer…LEAVE YOUR CONTACTS AT HOME. If you are exposed to tear gas while wearing them, they become unwearable thereafter.
2. Consider investing in a pair of chemical safety goggles or, as a less effective alternative, a pair of tight-fitting swim goggles.
3. Soak a cloth or bandanna in lemon juice and store it in a plastic ziplock bag. If tear gas is dispersed, place the damp cloth over your mouth and nose. It will buy you enough time to get away from the tear gas and to a place with fresh air. (Cider vinegar is a good alternative for lemon juice)
4. Carry a water bottle that contains a mixture of water and Campden (sodium metabisulphate). Campden comes in tablet form and when mixed with water works to counteract the effects of tear gas.
5. If you become exposed to tear gas, do NOT touch the affected area as it will spread the tear gas and rub it into your pores, making it burn even more.
6. When you are able to reach a location to shower, use cool or lukewarm water only as hot water will open your pores and the chemical will enter your pores with greater intensity, causing more pain. Avoid taking a bath and, instead, take a shower.
7. Do not apply any oil or petroleum based lotions of any kind to your body as tear gas is fat soluble and is likely to trap the chemicals on your skin.8. Consider bringing a change of clothes if you plan to remain at the protest after having been exposed to tear gas.
8. Consider bringing a change of clothes if you plan to remain at the protest after having been exposed to tear gas.