What To Do If You Are Exposed To Tear Gas
What is tear gas?
Tear gas, formally known as a lachrymator agent or lachrymator (from the Latin lacrima, meaning "tear"), sometimes more known as mace, is a chemical weapon that causes severe eye and respiratory pain, skin irritation, bleeding, and blindness. In the eye, it stimulates the nerves of the lacrimal gland to produce tears.
If it reaches your eyes, tear gas can cause excessive tearing, burning or blurred vision, according to the CDC.
The irritant can cause a runny nose, as well as a burning sensation inside the nose. It can also cause difficulty swallowing as well as chest tightness, coughing, shortness of breath and a feeling of choking.
For those who are exposed to riot control agents at close proximity or in a closed-in space, there can be more long-term effects including blindness, glaucoma or respiratory failure.
What you can do:
If it's deployed, keep a level head, and make sure that you remain calm.
After removing yourself from the immediate danger, you can apply a liquid antacid and water mixture that includes is a 50/50 mixture of water and either magnesium hydroxide and aluminium hydroxide.
If the first option is not available, it is recommended that you use refrigerated milk, however, this may not be accessible. However you MUST NOT pour the milk directly on to your eyes, this will cause the irritation to get worse and worse.
Another option is a mixture of water and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).
Baking soda is cheaper and easier to transport and store than refrigerated milk and can be mixed with water wherever you are.
As soon as you're able, it's important to wash your skin with lots of soap and water. After you've provided immediate first aid for tear gas, you should remove any article of clothing that may have tear gas on it. It's better to cut it off rather than pull it off over your head so it does not make contact with your face. You should then place your exposed clothing in a plastic bag, seal the bag and then place that bag inside another plastic bag in order to prevent others from being exposed to the harmful chemical.
How to be prepared:
Douša, the Park Avenue Christian Church pastor, recommended a list of items to prepare yourself if tear gas is deployed to break up a peaceful protest or if an event becomes violent:
- Goggles: To prevent tear gas from getting into your eyes.
- Face shield: Another protection against tear gas for your eyes, nose, mouth, skin and lungs.
- Comfortable footwear: Marches and protests involve a lot of walking, and you'll want to also be ready if you have to run.
- Bike helmets: To protect your head if objects are being thrown or someone hits you.
- An umbrella: A defence against rubber bullets.
- ID, health insurance and cash: If you need to go to the hospital, talk with police officers or have other incidental expenses.
How you can help the BLM movement:
George Floyd, a 46-year-old bouncer, was killed on Monday, May 25 by Derek Chauvin, a police officer, who pressed his knee into Mr Floyd's neck until he died while other police officers watched. Footage of the killing, taken by a bystander, showed Floyd lying face down and handcuffed, groaning for help and repeatedly saying, "please, I can't breathe," before becoming motionless.
This death and constant racism towards the black community has very rightly so angered many, many people.
We know that many of you will want to help, but what if you aren't in America and can't partake in the protest? Here is what you can do to help this movement:
Sign this "Justice for George Floyd" petition, here.
Support black creators and business owners.
Donate to the black lives matter fund, here.
Remember, we are all in this together
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”