skip navigation


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 Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. 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: 184137 Find in a Library
Title: All Chemical Agents Are Not Created Equal
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:27  Issue:7  Dated:July 2000  Pages:46-51
Author(s): Tony L. Jones
Date Published: July 2000
Page Count: 6
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Police officers need to understand the use-of-force continuum and the potential effects of exposure to the five types of chemical agents used by police.
Abstract: These agents include chloroacetophenone (CN), orthochlorbenzalmalononitrile (CS), phenylchloromethylketone (Mace), Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), and hybrids of the other four agents. CN causes skin rashes, burns, and possibly skin disease. It also has been implicated as a potential carcinogen. It irritates the eyes and nose. The reaction time and effects of Mace mimic those of CN. CS is an irritant that effects the eyes and skins. It causes more powerful effects than CN, but takes a bit longer to cause a reaction. Controversy exists over which chemical is the most effective and the safest to use. OC or pepper spray is a naturally occurring substance available in different concentrations. Police should choose an OC spray that is effective without causing physiological damage. The officer should aim OC at the person’s face, eyes, nose, and forehead. Traditional chemical agents such as CN and CS cause painful tearing and respiratory discomfort, but they do not cause the same inflammation and swelling effects produced by OC. Law enforcement personnel considering a hybrid solution should consider its increased effectiveness, collateral contamination concerns, decontamination methods, toxicity, carcinogenic properties, and the possibility of injuries to both the officer and the perpetrator. Officers should receive specialized training before using these products. Photographs
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Biological weapons; Chemical irritants; Lawful use of force; Police equipment
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.