Then, decontaminate yourself with soap and water. “As soon as you get home, if you’ve been exposed to tear gas, even lightly so, shower and wash your hair well,” says Dean Winslow, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care and professor of hospital medicine at the Stanford University Medical Center.
Sven Eric Jordt, an associate professor of anesthesiology at Duke University School of Medicine who researches how nerve receptors respond to chemical irritants, says soaking in detergent and several repeated washes may work for mild contamination — but there is no guarantee. “You don’t want to carry tear gas residues into your home, especially with children or elderly [people] around,” he says.
To prevent ongoing irritation and potential health problems, the CDC recommends people sprayed with riot control agents like tear gas remove their clothes as soon as possible. Going to a protest?
However, how many times you wash your clothes depends on a number of factors. “A lot of it depends on how much of the tear gas you were exposed to,” says Galiatsatos. “The closer you are to the canister, the higher concentration of particles, and if you’re that close, you might need to get rid of your clothes.
Panagis Galiatsatos, a physician specializing in internal medicine, pulmonary, and critical care at Johns Hopkins Medicine, says noxious chemicals like tear gas can flare underlying lung diseases.
But Siegler says if you still have excessive pain, irritation, and shortness of breath after decontaminating — or if you have a lung condition and you’re struggling to breathe or your breathing treatment isn’t working — you should seek medical care as soon as possible. © 2020 Condé Nast. All rights reserved.
Winslow says it’s important to decontaminate all clothing before wearing again, since the chemical agent in tear gas can linger on inanimate objects for two or three days.
Here's how to properly decontaminate or dispose of everything you're wearing. https://t.co/PU8Ic1MpAd— Allure (@Allure_magazine) June 13, 2020
Related videos from YouTube