skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

  NCJ Number: NCJ 182433   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
  Title: Impact of Oleoresin Capsicum Spray on Respiratory Function in Human Subjects in the Sitting and Prone Maximal Restraint Positions, Final Report
  Document URL: PDF 
  Dataset URL: DATASET 1
  Author(s): Theodore C. Chan M.D. ; Gary M. Vilke M.D. ; Jack Clausen M.D. ; Richard Clark M.D. ; Paul Schmidt M.S. ; Thomas Snowden ; Tom Neuman M.D.
  Date Published: 2000
  Page Count: 68
  Annotation: Oleoresin Capsicium (OC) spray has gained wide acceptance in law enforcement to subdue violent suspects in the field, but it is alleged to have been associated with a number of in-custody deaths in the media and concern has focused on respiratory effects of OC spray as playing a potential role in these deaths.
  Abstract: To assess the safety of commercially available OC spray in use by law enforcement agencies nationwide, both OC spray and positional restraint in human subjects were examined to determine if OC exposure by itself or in combination with positional restraint resulted in any significant respiratory compromise as measured by pulmonary function testing and assessment of oxygenation and ventilation. Study subjects performed four different experimental trials over two separate days in a pulmonary function testing laboratory in random order: placebo spray exposure followed by sitting position, placebo spray exposure followed by restraint position, OC spray exposure followed by sitting position, and OC spray exposure followed by restraint position. Prior to exposure, baseline spirometry measurements were obtained by pulmonary function testing. After exposure, repeat spirometric measurements were performed at 1.5 and 10 minutes. After a 1-hour rest, study subjects performed a second experimental trial. Completing the study were 34 individuals, 24 men and 10 women. No evidence was found that OC spray inhalation and exposure in human subject resulted in any respiratory compromise. Moreover, there was no evidence of hypoxemia or hypercapnia as a result of OC exposure. In fact, OC spray appeared to slightly increase ventilation. In the restraint position, declines were noted in pulmonary function typical for prone maximal restraint body position but no evidence was found of clinically significant spirometric abnormalities or differences between OC spray and placebo groups. The authors conclude that OC spray exposure and inhalation do not result in significant risk for respiratory compromise or asphyxiation. 61 endnotes and 8 exhibits
  Main Term(s): Police equipment
  Index Term(s): Chemical irritants ; Police research ; Oleoresin Capsicum (OC)/Pepper Spray ; NIJ grant-related documents
  Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
  Grant Number: 98-IJ-CX-0079
  Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
  Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.