Do we need Chemical Defense in the 21st Century?

So far 2020 has been an, “interesting year”. Half way though it we’ve had a pandemic, riots, depression, partial recovery. “murder” hornets, Blue Dragon Poisonous Sea Slugs and lets not forget. Social and economic breakdown. Today we start a new chapter,  Chemical Defense.
With the way the country, no the world is going it reminds me of one of the books of the Poetic Edda. The Voluspa. Its a rundown of Midgard from beginning to end. One of the stanza reads as follows

I saw there wading | through rivers wild
Treacherous men | and murderers too,
And workers of ill | with the wives of men;
There Nithhogg sucked | the blood of the slain,
And the wolf tore men; | would you know yet more?

Seems a lot like the times we are in, does it not?

We’ve talked about prepping. However our prepping talks have been more toward a Jerhico or Revolution type SHTF situation. Also we tossed in some depression. But so far things have been so strange we never saw most of this. Well this time we’ll try to make up some of the stuff that we missed.

Unfortunately we are having riots across the country. We are not going to choose sides, We’ll leave that to others. But with riots come tear gas pepper spray, rubber bullets sticks rocks bricks.

Lets start with riot control agents. Tear Gas and Pepper Spray.

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Before we get to deep, Why do we need o know about Chemical Defense? If you want to be able to get out of the city. When you NEED to defend your homestead.  Helping your family, or friends who got into the wrong place at the wrong time, then a new chapter of the modern medic is needed. . Chemical Defense

Via the CDC:

Riot control agents (sometimes referred to as “tear gas”) are chemical compounds that temporarily make people unable to function by causing irritation to the eyes, mouth, throat, lungs, and skin.

Several different compounds are considered to be riot control agents. The most common compounds are known as chloroacetophenone (CN) and chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile (CS). Other examples include chloropicrin (PS), which is also used as a fumigant (that is, a substance that uses fumes to disinfect an area); bromobenzylcyanide (CA); dibenzoxazepine (CR); and combinations of various agents.

As a prior Nuclear Biological and Chemical NCO I have a intimate relationship with CS and CN. (Insert evil grin here!) We have some methods that work well with CS and CN. First off Milk does not work with CS. CS needs water. Cold clear water. LOTS of cold water. Hot water causes the pores to open a bit and makes the particles harder to remove. CS (Tear Gas) is a particulate gas. It is microscopic particles that attach tot he skin and mucus membranes.

Steps for tear gas.

  • Flush your eyes with large amounts of clean cool water. At least 10 minutes of flushing. I recommend saline. It is sterile and it does not damage the eyes. This is saline for irrigation it is designed to irrigate wounds prior to closing. We also use it to irrigate the eyes to removed foreign objects. The way to use it is to either pour it into a sports bottle and use the spout on the bottle or poke a small hole in the top of the saline container. Not to small you don’t want to power wash the eye. About a ¼ inch or so in diameter
  • Remove clothing. If you are wearing a shirt that needs to be pulled over the head, its in your best interest to cut it off. Wait what? This fancy 25 buck T-shirt I got for attending? Yup That one. The reason is to prevent recontamination from the shirt to your face.
  • Shower. Use plenty of soap and cool water.
  • Clothing. My advice is to wrap it in plastic trash bags and toss it. If you must keep your clothes, wash in cold water with a lot of soap. At least 2 heavy washes. 3 is better. Long time ago I was running a gas chamber for an infantry company. Go it take off your mask say your name, rank unit and WALK out of the chamber. ( Don’t forget about the big tree that is always in front of the exit!) These grunts either by accident or on purpose tossed their BDU’s into the dryer with out washing them. The dryers vented on the ground floor. Right next to the company offices. Well those company personnel that did make it the gas chamber got to go though it in the company office!

Pepper Spray

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The active ingredient in pepper spray is capsaicin, which is a chemical derived from the fruit of plants in the genus Capsicum, including chilis. Extraction of oleoresin capsicum (OC) from peppers requires capsicum to be finely ground, from which capsaicin is then extracted using an organic solvent such as ethanol.

Capsicum is also an oil. Water and Oil do not mix. Washing with water or saline will just spread the oil around and making things that much worse. How many of y’all have has some real hot Mexican, Cajun or Thai food? And gulping that big glass of water just made things worse. Milk is the answer. One of the best things I have found to get rid of pepper spray is a mixture of Mylanta or Maloxx diluted with milk. And how did I find that out. Alaska. Friend of mine was messing with a bear spray device. And he sprayed it. In to the wind. Yeah he was not a happy camper.

Pepper Spray in Action.

This old guy next door was standing next to me and have a fine time watching Sam (Not his real name) run around the yard screaming his fool head off. He went in the house and came out with his “Possibles bag” and pulls out a bottle of Mylanta and a can of Carnation evaporated milk. Pokes a couple of holes on the can, drinks half and pours the rest into the mylanta bottle and shook it up. He told me to “tackle his fool ass and wash is face with this and let him be.” And almost instantly the pain was gone and “Sam” was able to take care of himself.

The active ingredients of both Mylanta and Maloxx are the same. Each contains 200 mg aluminum hydroxide, 200 mg magnesium hydroxide, and 20 mg simethicone per 5 ml. You can also dilute the maloxx with about 4 ounces water per 12 of maloxx.

Washing up.

Dawn dish washing detergent (Or its generic equal) is the best to wash yourself and clothes to get the oil off. Dawn breaks up the oil and lowers the surface tension of the water to remove it.



When I was a NBC NCO (Today you young folks may recognize it as a CBRN NCO) I didn’t mind Chemical warfare to much. Nuclear as long as I was at least 30 to 40 kilometers away. Or ground zero. Biological scared the crap out of me. Chemical was easy. As a NBC NCO we got to go though the live agent training center at Ft. McClellan Alabama. So we knew the suits and masks worked. That confidence in the equipment I could pass on to my troops.  Good chemical protective equipment can be found at Amazon.  Military surplus masks are decent. But they are old. You have no idea on how it was stored. They often have dry rot and the filters are long expired. But you can get new fully serviceable masks for a decent price.

I did a blog post a few weeks ago on the N95 mask.  One thing people. Men in particular need to know. If you have the big assed Manly Man beard, a protective mask WILL. NOT. WORK. That is why you never see me with a full beard. Nor firefighters. The mask will not seal. And you will get to experience the full joy of what ever riot control or chemical warfare agents have to offer.

Protective Masks.

A pet peeve of my and every NBC NCO is calling the protective mask a “cough” Gas Mask. It has no gas supply. It protects from gas. This paint respirator mask is a good starting point. It will protect from riot control agents and light organics. (Pesticides). It has filter cartridges that can be changed. Its down side is it can take a standard NATO 40 mm filter.  This Israeli Protective mask is a real protective mask. It is standard Israeli issue and takes the NATO 40mm filter canister. These are current manufacture. These masks are not the cheap 20 buck ones from the Army Surplus Store. These are the ones in our SHTF bags, along with 3 filters for each mask.

Protective Clothing

The Military MOPP suit, (Mission Orientated Protective Posture) is a great tool. Until you have worn one for 10 hours. At Ft.Stewart Georgia. In August. While it is raining. Then it turns in to the best sauna ever invented. Lucky for us the civilian market makes  modern protective clothing that weighs a fraction of a MOPP suit. It however does not have the “toughness” of the MOPP suit. Tyvek suits come in Medium Large  X-Large 2X  and 3x Standard Nitril gloves will work for light work Chemotherapy gloves are better.

NBC 101

The NBC NCO method of checking the seal of the protective mask. Isoamyl Acetate. Better known as banana oil. Isoamyl Acetate. Don the mask, and take 1 ampule, crush it and hold it about 3-6 inches from the mask EDGES move it around the edges and breath normally. The scent of bananas tells you that the mask needs adjustment. Or you need a shave. If you smell nothing but the rubber of the mask,  your mask is sealed properly. The mask will protect you to its ability.

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