vrijdag 5 februari 2016

Practical tips for the Streetfight: CS/CN-Gas


Self-defense and first aid for wounds caused by the use of teargas


Chemical mace, vomiting gas, remote repellents, teargas - the shit goes by many names. But only one is really correct: combat gas. This is how military handbooks describe these chemical weapons. In international wars and conflicts the use of CN-(Chlorazetophenon) and CS-(ortho-Chlorbenzylidenmalondinitril) combat gas is prohibited by international law. However, in combat against the own populations they have been used by cops throughout Western Europe for some time now. The concentrations used are much higher than the concentration of cans available on the normal market.   


Since we get confronted with the use of combat gas during actions many times, activists need to be aware of the following: Several launch pads transfer the gas to a distance of 120 meters into a human crowd: Chemical Mace: 7 meters; Pepper-Fog (combines CN/CS with smoke): 20 meters; the Superbat (looks like a pesticide dispenser) 15 meters; grenades; 40 meters; and as an admixture in water canons: 65 meters. The newest variation: fragmentation grenades which make great jumps and special projectiles with CN/CS that go straight through windows and doors, filling the room behind it with dense smoke. CN as well as CS both work on the skin, the respiratory tract and the mucous membrane of the eyes. Therefore people with diseases to these organs have an extra risk - the slightest dose of combat gas can cause violent reactions, which in extreme cases can even cause death. However, normally the complaints fade away after some time. Easy measures guarantee a good self-defense and a fast first aid; the deterrent effect is successfully neutralized.           


SELF-DEFENSE

The eyes can best be protected by gas protection goggles that are air tight. Well closed ski glasses are also an option. For those who wear glasses a small glasses with sports brace and shatterproof glass; these glasses are partly used by us already, because they also offer protection against glass splinters during physical contact. Contact lenses can easily shift away (during the washing of the eyes for instance) and CN/CS-gas can concentrated itself under the lens, remaining active for a longer period of time.  


The airways can be protected with a filter mask. Smaller models, as used in car painting shops, offer full protection. The combination of goggles and mask, the so-called whole mask, make breathing uncomfortable in a short period of time. Mouth/face cloths can be used as well and are usually the most accustomed. These should be woven as dense as possible. Ideally, you can use a triangular cloth from the first aid kit. Wetting this will provide for an incidental closure of the tissue. However, in the long run the water is evaporated by the body heat, the gas particles accumulate and because of this the concentration rises. This can only be retained by exchanging the cloth regularly or rinsing it with lots of water.


The vast majority of skin areas can be protected by oil suits, leather clothing and watertight shoes. Leather clothing needs to be sufficiently greased. Make sure that the collar of the jacket closes tightly around the neck, so nothing can seep into the undergarment. The moist and warm CN/CS in contact with the skin causes skin burns over large areas. (See pictures)   


It is also important to cover your hands with heat repellent material in order to be able to throw back projectiles. Motor- or working gloves (for instance for welding) are perfect for this. Beware: only touch grenades on the non-heated side!


We can only advice against protection with the help of crème, lemon juice or vinegar. These so-called 'insider tips' have no use whatsoever or only strengthen the activity of the gas. Crèmes belong in the make-up bag, lemon juice and vinegar in the kitchen. Water is and remains the only means!


FIRST AID

The physical consequences after the use of CN/CS are many-sided and each of the possible consequences asks for fast first aid. The longer the gas is active, the bigger the threat of acute and chronic damage.     


As with almost all effects of chemicals in the eyes, in this case water is appropriate and in most emergencies the only available means of first aid. Only by constantly rinsing the eyes, the gas can be diluted and leached out. This can take 10 minutes or longer. The decreasing pain is the only possible bellwether to ascertain the success of the treatment. In case the pain re-emerges after some time it is possible that leftovers are still under the eye lids, so you have to rinse the eyes again. In case the pain re-emerges after several hours, it can be an indication of a starting conjunctivitis, which asks for a medical treatment.  


Rinse from the inside out, so that no rinsing liquid can seep into the other eye. For this the head needs to be held diagonally or backwards in some occasions (sometimes the treatment has to take place with violence, because some persons become panicked or get disorientated after contact with gas) and the skin above and under the eye need to be pushed open. This way you are able to open the cramped eyelids, so the first water can reach the eye. Within several seconds the pain will decrease, more water rinses out the remainder of the gas.       


With direct hits on the skin or with gas engorged clothing, the clothes need to be removed as soon as possible and washed with a lot of cold water. Warm water is unsuitable, because it opens the pores of the skin and strengthens the function of the gas. Skin irritation and blisters should be medically treated on a later occasion.


After contact with gas, it is important to get out of the clothes that are infected with gas and to package it in a vacuum in a plastic bag. If you don’t store them properly the body heat will make sure small amounts of CN/CS gas will damp out of the clothing and especially in closed rooms this will lead to an ever further receiving of the gas in the airways. In a closed space or in vehicles, windows need to be opened!       


With all forms of difficulty in breathing, pain in the throat when coughing and breathlessness, the first measure is: fresh air! If someone has some kind of chronic disease to the airways, especially asthma or chronic bronchitis, the battleground must be left immediately and to prevent even worse damage lie down with the upper body incremented.


A particular feature of the use of CS is the feeling you cannot breathe anymore. Despite this the lungs still get enough air (see recent experiences in Northern Ireland, Switzerland, Bavaria, Berlin and the Netherlands). Another particular feature of the use of CS is strong nausea and stomach cramps. Because of this CSW is also known as vomit gas. Normally the nausea already disappears after a relatively short period of time; usually first aid is no necessity here. However, the precise effects of CS-gas to the stomach muscles are still unknown. Every sign that go further than the ones described above or lasts longer than 24 hours do require medical treatment!


These tips for self-defense and first aid are only suitable in order to decrease the working of the gas, decrease the consequences of the gas and to get the group ready for action as soon as possible. However, they do not replace treatment by a doctor in more severe cases!

US soldier after several hours of exposure to CS-Gas



 


 
 



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