Short-Term and Long-Term Physical Effects of Exposure to Pepper Spray?

Pepper is also known as a lacrimator, meaning that it promotes the eyes to produce tears. It normally can be found in a spray container or an n aerosol.

The primary element of pepper spray is an oil called oleoresin capsicum. This oil is taken from plants, known as genus Capsicum, which contains chili peppers.

Pepper spray’s active ingredient is capsaicin, a similar chemical that includes particular warmth to chili peppers. Pepper spray consists of greater concentrations of capsaicin than chili peppers.

Capsicum oil, additionally, develops the basis of bear spray, an aerosol developed to protect humans that experience a bear.

Pepper spray has an extremely high score on the Scoville warm systems, or SHU, scale, which determines the “heat” of peppers. On the Scoville range:

  • a bell pepper determines 0 SHU
  • a jalapeño pepper rating around 2,500 to 5,000 SHU
  • pepper spray that cops utilize rates between 500,000 to 2 million SHU, with some brand names measuring 5.3 million SHU

The capsaicin concentration of the majority of pepper spray that law enforcement agents utilize is 5 to 10%. A greater concentration leads to longer enduring effects.

Pepper spray usage is controversial, particularly when members of law enforcement units use it against private protestors.

The Chemical Defense Convention outlaw using trouble control measures such as pepper spray as well as tear gas in war. Nonetheless, law enforcement cops use pepper spray, as well as tear gas to disperse groups and subdue protests.

Private citizens can purchase pepper spray over the counter for self-defense, though some U.S. states restrict its sales.

Physical results


When pepper spray comes into call with an individual’s eyes, it causes acute eye discomfort, instant eye closure, as well as short-term blindness. Some individuals describe a boiling or gurgling sensation, as well as extreme pain.

Pepper spray can additionally have the following effects:

  • an inability to take a breath properly or shortness of breath
  • Wheezing or a dry cough
  • throat burning
  • gagging
  • breast pain
  • a runny nose
  • panic
  • a lack of ability to speak
  • gasping for air
  • dizziness
  • blisters, breakouts, or burns on contact with the skin
  • loss of awareness