What is tear gas? How does it work?

Tear gas is a noxious gas. It is also called as war gas since it is used to disperse soldiers in a battle and all attacking mob. It is one kind of Lachrymator. Firing certain chemicals in artilleries or pen gun produces it. The chemical substance used is, alpha chloracetatophenone, a solid material or ethyliodoacetate a liquid material.

 The tear gas vapours cause irritation of the eyes with a copious flow of tears, spasm of the eye lids and temporary blindness. When eye is exposed to this irritant gas it creates a nervous reflex caused due to sensory stimulation.

As a result of this stimulation tear gland is induced to secrete copious tears, which flush across the eyeball. Tear gas also causes irritation of air-passages. In long continuous exposure there may be nausea, vomiting and blistering of skin. The effects are transitory.

Tear gas exposed persons should be removed to fresh air and they should wash their eyes with normal saline or boric acid solution. Weak sodium bicarbonate solution should be applied to the affected parts of the skin.