What we call Tear Gas is actually not gas at all but a fine powder or an oil based vapors. Cleaning the residue might be more complicated than you thought.
There are about 15 products on the market that can go under the tear gas category. They all produce tearing, sneezing, coughing and temporary blindness, even though the chemical compounds used are different. The most common tear gas used in the US goes under the acronym CS, CR and CN. Which substance was used will determine the way the cleanup would be performed.
Types of Tear Gas
Tear gas contains a chemical compounds that irritates the mucous membranes.
CS – At room temperature this gas is not actually gas but a fine powder aerosolized to produce a cloud in the air which will be inhaled by the targets. The residue sinks into objects around; if outdoors into clothes and backpacks, if indoors into furniture, upholstery and curtains.
CN – Is known as Mace and works very effectively in close range. The CN is dispersed with an oily substance causing it to stick to skin and other surfaces.
CR – Is a pale yellow solid in the form of fine powder, suspended in liquid and dispersed into the air. It can stay active on surfaces for up to 2 months.
Knowing which one was used can help with the cleanup.
Tear Gas Clean Up
After an indoor space was contaminated with tear gas, a remediation (Reversing or stopping environmental damage) is required:
- All workers have to wear protective gear when entering a space that was affected by tear gas. That includes a full face respirator and hazard suit.
- Removing the residue by vacuuming the area thoroughly. Home vacuums will not do because the fine dust will escape the filters and be redistributed again into the air, causing more tearing and coughing.
- Vacuuming the dust into a sealed bag that is far away from the location. Usually in a truck with a wet misting option in the vacuum line.
- Washing everything with large amounts of water, especially when CS is involved. Note that it can make a CR effect worse.
- Pre-spray with alkaline based liquid to aid in penetration. A citrus solvent can be added to the cleaning solution to help in cleaning carpets, upholstery and hard surfaces.
- Everything that can be moved outside should be moved and cleaned, watching for downdraft. Whatever can be, should be immersed in water.
BioTeamAZ Is The Most Experienced Company In The Phoenix Area
BioTeamAZ deals with all kinds of decontaminations; whether it is a crime scene, suicide scene, decomposing body or tear gas decontamination. Their professional crews have extensive training in all matters of hazard and biohazard removal. They are working with insurance companies and are available for emergencies day and night, 7 days a week.