Pepper spray is a dangerous weapon, but it is an all-natural one, composed of extract from cayenne peppers. These hot, re peppers are a common ingredient in chili, omelets and other food that gets eaten every day, and if it’s safe enough to eat, it’s is safe enough to blast in someone’s eyes. It will hurt, but it will also deter.
The active ingredient in pepper spray is oleoresin capsicum, an inflammatory agent that causes a swelling in the mucous membrane of the eyes, throat and lungs, and a dilation of the capillaries. Those hit with a blast of pepper spray will immediately feel an extreme burning sensation on the skin and areas of the eyes, nose and throat. The victim may be blinded temporarily and have trouble breathing as the throat constricts. Excessive coughing, tears and a shortness of breath are other reactions.
The effects can last anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour, depending on the intensity of the blast. Pepper spray is sold in several different varieties, most commonly as liquid in a spray bottle. The nozzles can generally spray in a cone that can hit a target up to 12 feet away with a fine mist of spray. Other nozzles spray in a heavy, targeted stream, which is good for spraying out partially closed car windows or other tight spaces. Fogger-type pepper spray is dispersed like a heavy-duty aerosol, useful for crowds or bears. Foam pepper spray is another option. The foam sticks to the target much like a dense shaving cream, which is good for windy days when the spray could blow back in your own face.
Pepper spray, a non-lethal and easy to use self-defense method, works well as protection against thieves, drunks and other miscreants. It causes tearing, irritation and temporarily blinds the victim when sprayed in the eyes. The natural, chili-derived ingredients in pepper spray make it a comfortable self-defense choice for many people, who shy away from the harsh chemical compounds in other self-defense sprays.
Step 1 Carry your pepper spray in a convenient place, like your pants or jacket pocket. Don’t store it in a purse compartment or any place where you need to waste precious seconds trying to find it so you can use it.
Step 2 Scream “Stop” or another word or phrase to distract the perpetrator. This enables you to start spraying without his knowledge.
Step 3 Bend your knees slightly and balance your body evenly on both feet when you use the pepper spray. Raise the canister at least 6 inches in front of your body and aim at the assailant’s face.
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