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Short-Term and Long-Term Teargas Exposure Symptoms

Short-Term and Long-Term Teargas Exposure Symptoms - Bio-One of South OC

For first responders, health professionals, and the community, understanding teargas exposure symptoms can be a life-saving resource. This guide provides clear instructions on how to recognize, address, and understand the short-term and long-term symptoms of teargas exposure. With proper knowledge and preparation, you can provide effective care for individuals who have been exposed to teargas during civil unrest, security operations, or other events.

What are Teargas and Other RCAs?

Teargas, or riot control agents, are substances dispersed in the air to cause severe irritation in the eyes, skin, and respiratory system, resulting in temporary incapacitation. While it's designed to be non-lethal, exposure can still lead to a range of short-term and long-term health issues.

riot control example

Short-Term Teargas Exposure Symptoms

Short-term effects are those that are immediately experienced following teargas exposure. It's important to recognize these symptoms as they require immediate and appropriate care.

Irritation of the Eyes, Skin, and Respiratory System

Teargas exposure is most known for causing intense burning, pain, and inflammation in the eyes, often accompanied by excessive tearing and redness. Skin exposed to the agent may develop rashes, burning sensations, and in severe cases, blisters. When inhaled, the respiratory system can become inflamed, leading to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Coughing, Difficulty Breathing

The irritant effect on the respiratory system causes coughing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing, particularly in individuals with preexisting respiratory conditions. In the most severe cases, this can lead to respiratory distress.

Skin Burns, Nausea, Vomiting

Direct or prolonged exposure to teargas can cause skin burns or lesions. Additionally, the overall effects of the agent on the body can induce nausea and vomiting, which compounds the distress already experienced by the individual.

sick person example

Long-Term Teargas Exposure Symptoms

Long-term health issues resulting from teargas exposure may not manifest immediately, and recognizing them requires a more detailed understanding.

Respiratory Issues

Repeated or prolonged exposure to teargas can contribute to the development of chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, or other reactive airway diseases.

Skin Conditions

Chronic exposure to teargas can lead to persistent skin conditions, including dermatitis and other forms of eczema. These conditions can be painful, and itchy, and result in chronic discomfort for those affected.

Recognition and Treatment

Immediate Care Guidelines

When dealing with an individual who has been exposed to teargas, the first step is to move the person to fresh air. While in a safe space, flush their eyes with water and advise them to blink frequently to help alleviate the irritation. Provide a calm environment to reduce anxiety, which can worsen the symptoms.

police containment area from tear gas incident example

Medical Intervention Recommendations

In cases of severe exposure or when symptoms persist, seeking medical intervention is necessary. Physicians can provide treatments to alleviate symptoms and monitor for long-term health effects. For skin burns, gentle washing with water and mild soap, followed by a soothing cream, can offer relief.

Must read: The Aftermath of Tear Gas: Recognizing Exposure Symptoms

Bio-One of South OC Can Help

We understand that dealing with the aftermath of teargas exposure requires a meticulously planned and professionally executed cleanup. We at Bio-One of South OC provide teargas cleanup services, ensuring the property is safe, sanitized, and restored to normal. Our team is trained to handle these sensitive situations with the highest level of care and discretion. If you need our services, please don't hesitate to reach out!

biohazard cleanup technician bio one