Emergency Medicine Book


Riot Control Agent

Aka: Riot Control Agent, Tear Gas, Lacrimogenic gas, Oleoresin of Capsicum, Pepper Spray, Chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile, Chloroacetophenone, Chlorodihydrophenarsazine
  1. See Also
    1. Chemical Weapon
  2. Definitions
    1. Riot Control Agent (Tear Gas)
      1. Aerosolized powders used by police and military to suppress crowds by causing eye, skin and nose irritation
  3. Causes: Common Riot Control Agents
    1. Commonly used Riot Control Agents
      1. Oleoresin of Capsicum (OC, Pepper Spray)
      2. Chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile (CS) Powder
        1. Most common agent used in U.S. by police and border control agents
      3. Chloroacetophenone (CN)
        1. More skin irritation than with CS
    2. Older agents with greater toxicity
      1. Chlorodihydrophenarsazine (DM)
      2. Dibenzoxazepine (CR) Gas
  4. Mechanism
    1. Pain receptor (TRPA1) irritation and inflammation at skin, eye, nose
    2. Riot Control Agent exposure to CN or CS is rarely lethal unless in enclosed spaces
  5. Findings: Signs and Symptoms
    1. Eye
      1. Eye tearing
      2. Conjunctivitis
      3. Chemosis
      4. Blepharospasm
    2. Nose
      1. Nasal congestion
      2. Rhinorrhea
    3. Lung
      1. Cough
      2. Bronchospasm
      3. Hemoptysis
    4. Gastrointestinal
      1. Nausea and Vomiting
    5. Skin
      1. Skin burning Sensation
      2. Contact Dermatitis (uncommon)
      3. Skin bullae (prolonged exposure)
  6. Management
    1. Decontamination
      1. Evacuate patient to open, fresh air
      2. Remove all contaminated clothing
      3. Wash all skin with soap and water (remove all traces of chemical)
      4. Eye Irrigation for 15 minutes
      5. Consider Diphoterine Wash (Decontamination and chelating solution)
    2. ABC Management
      1. Airway Management
      2. Supplemental Oxygen as needed
      3. Oral secretion and nasal secretion suctioning
      4. Acute bronchospasm management (e.g. AlbuterolInhaler or Nebulized Albuterol)
    3. Contact Dermatitis Management
      1. Burn Management as needed
  7. Complications: Rare
    1. Pulmonary Edema
    2. Reactive Airway Dysfunction Syndrome
  8. Resources
    1. CDC Riot Control Agents
      1. https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/riotcontrol/factsheet.asp
  9. References
    1. Tomaszeski (2020) Crit Dec Emerg Med 34(6): 32
    2. Olajos (2001) J Appl Toxicol 21(5):355-91 +pmid:11746179 [PubMed]
    3. Schep (2015) J R Army Med Corps 161(2):94-9 [PubMed]

Chloroacetophenone (C0008160)

Concepts Hazardous or Poisonous Substance (T131) , Organic Chemical (T109)
MSH D002721
SnomedCT 79803004
English Chloracetophenone, chloroacetophenone, Chloroacetophenone (substance), Chloroacetophenone
French Chloro-acétophénone, Chloroacétophénone
Spanish cloroacetofenona (sustancia), cloroacetofenona
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)

Riot Control Agents, Chemical (C0035643)

Definition (MSH) Chemical substances which are employed during a riot in order to control or disperse the rioting parties.
Concepts Hazardous or Poisonous Substance (T131)
MSH D012304
English Riot Control Agents, Chemical, Chemical Riot Control Agents, RIOT CONTROL AGENTS CHEM, CHEM RIOT CONTROL AGENTS
French Antiémeutes chimiques, Agents antiémeutes chimiques, Anti-émeutes chimiques
Swedish Kemiska substanser för kontroll av upplopp
Czech látky proti demonstrantům chemické
Finnish Kemialliset mellakanhallinta-aineet
Croatian Not Translated[Riot Control Agents, Chemical]
Polish Środki chemiczne stosowane podczas rozruchów i zamieszek
Japanese 暴動制圧用化学物質, 暴動鎮圧用化学物質
Portuguese Substâncias para Controle de Distúrbios Civis, Agentes Químicos para Controle de Tumultos, Substâncias para Controle de Desordens Civis, Substâncias para Controle de Tumultos, Substâncias para Controle de Motins
Spanish Sustancias para Control de Disturbios Civiles, Agentes Químicos para Control de Disturbios, Sustancias para Control de Desórdenes Civiles, Agentes Químicos para Control de Tumultos, Sustancias para Control de Motines, Sustancias Antidisturbios, Sustancias para Control de Desorden Civil, Sustancias para Control de Tumultos
Norwegian Not Translated[Riot Control Agents, Chemical]
German Polizeikampfstoffe, chemische
Italian Sostanze chimiche per la tutela dell'ordine pubblico
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)

Lacrimogenic gas (C0729410)

Definition (MSH) Gases that irritate the eyes, throat, or skin. Severe lacrimation develops upon irritation of the eyes.
Concepts Hazardous or Poisonous Substance (T131)
MSH D013665
SnomedCT 311751001, 42325008
English Gas, Tear, Gases, Tear, Tear Gas, Tear Gases, Lacrimogenic gas, tear gas, Lacrimogenic gas (substance), Tear gas, Lacrimator gas (substance), Lacrimator gas, Lacrimator gas, NOS, Tear gas, NOS
Swedish Tårgaser
Czech slzné plyny
Finnish Kyynelkaasut
French Gaz lacrymogène, Gaz lacrymogènes
Japanese 催涙ガス
Italian Gas lacrimogeno, Gas lacrimogeni
Polish Gazy łzawiące
Spanish gas lacrimógeno [dup] (sustancia), gas lacrimógeno (sustancia), gas lacrimógeno, Gases Lacrimógenos
Norwegian Tåregass, Tåregasser
German Tränengase
Portuguese Gases Lacrimogênios
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)

Oleoresin capsicum spray (C1445782)

Concepts Hazardous or Poisonous Substance (T131)
SnomedCT 412455005
English Oleoresin capsicum spray (product), Oleoresin capsicum spray
Spanish aerosol de oleorresina capsicum (producto), aerosol de oleorresina capsicum
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)

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