The first thing to remember about
exposure to these chemical weapons is that it is not the worst thing that
could happen to you. The hype and fear surrounding them is enormous, but
in reality, if you are careful and smart, you should survive it with little
The second thing to remember about
exposure to these chemical weapons is that it is only temporary.
The third thing to remember about
exposure to these chemical weapons is that there are many myths about
treatment and prevention. Much of this misinformation is potentially dangerous.
Some of it, if applied, could greatly increase or prolong a person's reaction
to exposure, or at the very least provide a false sense of security.
- Avoid use of oils and lotions
because they can trap the chemicals and thereby prolong exposure.
- We recommend using a water or
alcohol-based sunscreen (rather than oil-based). If your choice is between
oil-based or nothing, we advocate using the sunscreen. Pepper sprayed
on top of sunburn is not good.
- We also recommend minimizing
skin exposure by covering up as much as possible. This can also protect
you from the sun, as can a hat.
- Gas masks provide the best facial
protection, if properly fitted and sealed. Alternatively, goggles (with
shatter-proof lenses), respirators, even a wet bandana over the nose
and mouth will help.
During a Chemical Attack:
- STAY CALM. Panicking increases
the irritation. Breathe slowly and remember it is only temporary.
- If you see it coming or get a
warning, put on protective gear, if able, try to move away or get upwind.
- Blow your nose, rinse your mouth,
cough and spit. Try not to swallow.
- If you wear contacts, try to
remove the lenses or get someone to remove them for you, with CLEAN,
- DO NOT RUB IT IN.
For pepper spray in the
eyes and mouth:
We recommend an eye flush using
a solution of half liquid antacid (i.e. Maalox) and half water.
A bottle with a squirt cap is ideal,
but a spray bottle works. Always irrigate from the inside corner of the
eye towards the outside, with head tilted back and slightly towards the
side being rinsed. It needs to get into the eye to help. This means that
if the sprayed person says it's okay you should try to open their eye
for them. They most likely won't be able/ willing to open it themselves,
and opening will cause a temporary increase in pain, but it does help.
This works great as a mouth rinse too.
During cold weather, do your best
to keep yourself and the victim dry.
For pepper spray on the
We recommend mineral oil followed
immediately by alcohol. Some street medics refer to this procedure by
the acronym "MOFIBA".
Thoroughly wet a 4x4 pad or similar
material with mineral oil. Carefully avoiding the eyes, thoroughly rub
the exposed skin with mineral oil. (You can use any vegetable oil in a
Quickly wet another 4x4 pad with
rubbing alcohol, and vigorously rub off the mineral oil. Be extremely
careful around the eyes.
Be careful to fully complete this
procedure with each victim - any mineral oil left on the skin may act
to trap any additional pepper spray on the skin.
Secondary treatments can include:
walking around with your arms outstretched, removing contaminated clothing,
and taking a cool shower.
In fact, it is essential to shower
and wash your clothes as soon as you are able. This shit is toxic, and
will continually contaminate you and everyone around you until you get
rid of it. Until then, try not to touch your eyes or your face, or other
people, furniture, carpets etc. to avoid further contamination.